INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

Keyword: chemical literacy

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Research Article
Citizen Science as a Pedagogical Tool in Chemistry Education: Students’ Attitudes and Teachers’ Perceptions
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2271, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11841
ABSTRACT: The need of promoting the affective dimension of chemistry literacy in students, through expressions of interest in chemistry-related topics and positive attitudes toward this field, has been emphasized in chemistry education. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand students’ attitudes toward chemistry between the ages of 12 and 14, as well as how their participation in a citizen science project called Perceiving the Value of Chemistry behind water and microplastics (PVC) contributed to possible attitude changes. Although the research focus was chemistry education, chemistry and physics are taught as part of one subject in Portugal, so the attitudes towards physics and chemistry scale was used as a pre- and post-test. The pre-test showed positive attitudes towards physics and chemistry. In the post-test, the control group exhibited significantly negative changes in attitude, in all dimensions; whereas the experimental group revealed no significant changes. Pedagogical dynamics also affect students’ attitudes toward chemistry, so we undertook interviews to investigate the project’s impact on the pedagogical practices of the nine participating teachers. The results suggest that activities developed within the PVC project were formative for the teachers, allowing them to reflect on their practices and promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the topics addressed, in addition to enabling students to use knowledge in different and new perspectives. Moreover, through the development of pedagogical resources and training within this project, teachers recognized that they would continue this experience.