Constraints and contributors towards the use of computer simulations in Manitoba chemistry classrooms: content is still king
Straub, Brian Frederick
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Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth (MECY) recently redesigned Grade 11 and 12 Chemistry curricula in an effort to be responsive to new developments in chemistry education research. In order to support the teaching of the microscopic level of chemistry, the new curricula encourage the use of technology and computer simulations into specific outcomes to aid meaning making of abstract chemistry concepts by students. This study identifies constraints and contributing factors to the use of computer simulations to facilitate student meaning making in chemistry. A questionnaire survey and case study approach informed by Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model was used to identify factors. The results of this survey show the chemistry teaching inventory of teachers has become more diversified. Although teachers are using technology as differentiated instruction, their pedagogical use of technology is primarily for content dissemination rather than utilizing the technology to assist students in a deep understanding of chemistry ideas.