Integrating Socio-Critical and Problem Oriented Approach to Assess Learner Performance in Acids and Bases in Secondary School Chemistry

Thelma Kaanza, Kenneth Kakoma Maseka


The main purpose of this study was to explore the effect of integrating socio-critical and problem oriented approach on performance of grade 11 learners in acids and bases. It also investigated the learner’s attitudes towards chemistry and the benefits and challenges faced by teachers in contextualizing the teaching and learning of chemistry. The design of this study was mixed method design involving quantitative and qualitative research methods together (Creswell, 2008; Gray, 2009). The study was conducted in Luanshya district of the Copperbelt Province in Zambia at three selected senior secondary schools (using rotary). These schools are Luanshya Central Secondary School. Luanshya Girls Secondary School and Mpelembe Secondary school. The sample consisted of all 16 chemistry teachers from the selected schools and 98 learners from two intact grade 11 classes randomly selected from two core schools of the three schools involved. These are Luanshya Central Secondary School and Mpelembe Secondary School.  A non-randomised quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test experimental and control group counterbalanced was used. Chemistry achievement test and a five likert scale chemistry attitude questionnaire was used for quantitative data collection. Qualitative data was collected using audio recorded structured interviews. The experimental group was taught using integrating socio-critical and problem oriented approach while the control group was taught using conventional methods (discussion) method. An independent t-test at alpha 0.5 was conducted to analyse the results of pre-test and post-test. The significant difference in post-test was p=0.003 with mean score difference of 39.7 at t-value of 8.542. Results from the chemistry attitude test revealed that learners had positive attitudes towards chemistry having learner using socio-critical and problem oriented approach. Also qualitative data from interviews was analysed using content analysis technique on excel windows 7. The results showed that teacher’s challenges ranged from topic difficulty to lack of apparatus to use in lessons. Therefore, integrating socio-critical and problem oriented approach in the teaching of acids and bases at secondary school had a positive effect on learner performance. Both groups showed a significant difference with socio-critical and problem oriented approach than with conventional method.

Keywords: socio-critical and problem oriented approach, performance, attitudes, conventional method

DOI: 10.7176/EJBM/11-23-08

Publication date: August 31st 2019

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