Thai Grade 11 students' alternative conceptions for acid-base chemistry

This study involved the development of a two-tier diagnostic instrument to assess Thai high school students' understanding of acid-base chemistry. The acid-base diagnostic test (ABDT) comprising 18 items was administered to 55 Grade 11 students in a science and mathematics programme during the second semester of the 2008 academic year. Analysis of students' responses from this study followed the methodology outlined by Calik and Ayas. The research findings suggest that the ABDT, the multiple choice diagnostic instrument, enables researchers and teachers to classify students' understanding at different levels. Most students exhibited alternative conceptions for several concepts: acid-base theory, dissociation of strong acids or bases, and dissociation of weak acids/bases. Interestingly, one of the concepts that students appeared to find most difficult, and for which they exhibited the most alternative conceptions, was acid-base theory. Some alternative conceptions revealed in this study differ from earlier reports, such as the concept of electrolyte and non-electrolyte solutions as well as the concentration changes of H3O⁺and OH⁻ in water. These research findings present valuable information for facilitating better understanding of acid-base chemistry by providing insight into the preventable and correctable alternative conceptions exhibited by students.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Artdej, R., Ratanaroutai, T., Coll, R.K. & Thongpanchang, T. (2010). Thai Grade 11 students' alternative conceptions for acid-base chemistry. Research in Science & Technological Education, 28(2), 167-183.
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group