Study Sheds Light on Learning in General Chemistry

A new study published in the Journal of Chemical Education (JCE) suggests that students who struggle in introductory STEM courses may do so because they have not acquired a working knowledge of abstract concepts that underlie examples presented in the course.

As reported in the Washington University Record, these findings “are important because they may help to explain why so many aspiring students make an early exit from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs after failing to perform well in tough introductory science courses.” In addition, please read the interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

This study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Integrative Research in Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE), including Mark McDaniel (Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences and co-Director, CIRCLE), and Mike Cahill (Project Manager and Research Scientist, CIRCLE).

To read more about the study, please see the CIRCLE website and the JCE article:

R. F. Frey*, M. J.Cahill, and M. A. McDaniel, J. Chem. Edu.“Students’ Concept-Building Approaches: A Novel Predictor of Success in Chemistry Courses”, 2017.