A central goal of chemistry education is to enable students to gain a broad understanding of central chemical concepts. To support students in achieving this goal, theoretically grounded and empirically validated models of developmental trajectories are needed to inform instruction and to guide assessment. However, it is an ongoing debate how these developmental trajectories need to be formulated and how evidence to support these trajectories can be established. In a longitudinal study covering students’ understanding of three chemical concepts in grades 5 to 8 and 9 to 12, respectively, we aim to investigate how different approaches to analyse students’ responses to test items lead to diverging conclusions regarding developmental patterns across grades. Overall, students’ test scores indicate substantial learning gains from grade to grade, with small to medium effect sizes. In addition, students’ progression across grades on average follows the hierarchy of ordered levels of conceptual understanding that were used for the development of the test items. However, a more fine-grained analysis focusing on individual trajectories calls the assumption of a level-by-level development of individual students into question.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging with contemporary challenges through science education research : Selected papers from the ESERA 2019 conference
EditorsOlivia Levrini, Giulia Tasquier, Tamer G. Amin, Laura Branchetti, Mariana Levin
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date25.09.2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-74489-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-74490-8
Publication statusPublished - 25.09.2021
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ID: 1697894