The effects of constructivism and chaos on assessment in a high school chemistry classroom.
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This study comprises three parts. First, to validate the Oral Individualized Classroom Environment Questionnaire (OICEQ) which is used to assess students perceptions of the learning environment in secondary chemistry classes in the U.S.A. The OICEQ is a modified version of the actual and preferred versions of the Individualized Classroom Environment Questionnaire (ICEQ) (Fraser, 1990). Second, to investigate associations between three types of science educational assessments; predictors of performance, perceptions of the classroom environment, and chemistry academic performance. Third, to address the following two questions:1. Are chaos and constructivism allies of adversaries to assessments (predictors, perceptions, and performance)?2. Is action research a valid process of evaluating a constructivist chemistry classroom (examining associations between chaos and constructivism)?A sample of 473 students from 21 chemistry classes took the Test of Logical Thinking (TOLT), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Individualized Classroom Environment Questionnaire (OICEQ), pretests, post-tests, and final examinations. The statistical analyses confirmed the reliability and validity of the OICEQ and ICEQ when used with senior chemistry students. Investigation of associations between predictors, perceptions, and performances revealed 29 significant associations with OICEQ and 21 significant associations with the ICEQ. Findings from the study indicated that: (1) chaos is an adversary to social assessment and personal constructivism is an ally to personal assessment; (2) action research is a valid process for evaluating a constructivist chemistry classroom it is a unifying concept for constructivism, chaos, and assessment; (3) through an action research-constructivist process and a cyberchaos research perspective, the impact of a constructivist teaching paradigm and chaos distort the assessment of data in a chemistry classroom.
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