University of Twente Student Theses


Context-based learning : What happens with the learning activation and engagement of students when a chemistry lesson is context based?

Klink, J.T.A. (2019) Context-based learning : What happens with the learning activation and engagement of students when a chemistry lesson is context based?

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Abstract:Since 2003 the chemistry education is challenged to work towards a renewal of the current curriculum since the Commissie Vernieuwing Scheikunde gave the advice to use contexts to enhance the learning process on thinking in concepts. Learning via context should enhance students’ motivation and their knowledge on the nature of chemistry. This research is carried out in the context of the IMPULS study which is an initiative of the University of Twente and funded by the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and over a period of two years the aim is to co-design a chemistry curriculum for secondary schools that works towards better understanding of chemistry content with the use of a context. This research will aim for answering the question if the context-based lessons change the learning activation of students, on the levels of competency beliefs, fascination and values, and the engagement of students during the chemistry context-based learning (CBL) lessons. Two answer the abovementioned question, four research questions will be addressed during this research: “What characterizes learning activation in CBL and regular chemistry lesson?”, “What levels of engagement are observed during the CBL lesson?”,” What opportunities to engage and learn are observed in the CBL lessons?” and “In the CBL lessons, what relationships appear to be present between learning activation, engagement, and opportunities to engage and learn?”. A mixed-method approach was performed where questionnaires provide inside on the students’ learning activation and to determine if the context-based lesson caused an effect on their learning activation. Student focus-groups, interviews and classroom observations helped to collect data on the engagement and opportunity to engage and learn during the context-based lessons. Results showed that between the experimental and control group no statistical differences were measured on learning activation and therefore no assumptions can be made regarding the influence of the CBL lessons on learning activation. The experimental group showed differences in attitude and perception in learning activation on the levels of fascination and values after the CBL lesson and this research revealed that the levels on fascination and value perception increased after receiving the CBL lesson. The qualitative data during this research led to implications for improvement of the CBL lesson materials such as; language level, sort of material and the duration of the CBL lessons. Further research could examine more information by researching the benefits and learning outcomes over a longer period with a larger sample of respondents. The conceptual research model underlying this study assumed that learning activation and engagement influenced each other, and that engagement was influenced by opportunity to engage. Research revealed that learning activation is also influenced by opportunities to learn and engage. The findings of this research and existing literature on context-based learning show that the chemistry CBL lesson approach can stimulate students’ learning activation and engagement level.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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