Ghanaian Teacher Trainees’ Conceptual Understanding of Stoichiometry

Ruby Hanson

Department of Chemistry Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana


Keywords: Chemical change, Conceptual understanding, Non-limiting reactant, Percent yield, Stoichiometry, Theoretical yield.


Chemical stoichiometry is a conceptual framework that encompasses other concepts such as the mole, writing of chemical equations in word and representative form, balancing of equations and the equilibrium concept. The underlying concepts enable students to understand relationships among entities of matter and required amounts for use when necessary. Success in this area of chemistry depends mainly on a student’s understanding of the concepts of the mole. An interpretive study on trainees’ conceptual understanding of chemical stoichiometry was carried out among 78 teacher trainees in their second year of study. The study comprised a combination of quantitative and qualitative interpretation of responses provided by trainees to stoichiometric questions. The interpretation indicated that their learning of stoichiometry was basically through the use of picket fence (factor label), undefined strategies and algorithm. The trainees were found to have more persistent problems with conceptual interpretation as they were not able to fully translate word problems into mathematical equations regardless their algorithmic underpinnings. Neither did they understand fully, the law of conservation of matter. Qualitative findings were found to be consistent with quantitative outputs.


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