Prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their profession: the state of the art in Slovenia and Finland

Vesna Ferk Savec, Bernarda Urankar, Maija Katariina Aksela, Iztok Devetak


The main purpose of this paper is to present Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their future profession, especially with regard to their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (macro, submicro and symbolic) and their representations in chemistry learning. A total of 19 prospective teachers (10 Slovenian, 9 Finnish) at master’s level in chemical education participated in the research. The prospective teachers’ opinions were gathered using an electronic questionnaire comprising six open-ended questions. The study revealed many parallels between Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their future profession and their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts, especially particle representations, in chemistry learning. The majority of the prospective teachers from both countries believe that personal characteristics are the most important attribute of a successful chemistry teacher. Thus, they highly value teachers’ enthusiasm for teaching and the use of contemporary teaching approaches in chemistry. The prospective teachers displayed an adequate understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (i. e., particle representations) in the planning and implementation of a specific chemistry lesson


attributes of a chemistry teacher, chemistry teacher profession, triple nature of chemical concepts, particle representations

Full Text:

PDF (1,389 kB)


K. E. Kram, Mentoring at work: Developmental Relationships in organizational life, Scott, Foresman, Glenview, Illinois, 1984

B. R. Ragins, K. E. Kram, The roots and meaning of mentoring, The handbook of mentoring at work: theory, practice and research, B. R. Ragins and K. E. Kram, Sage, Los Angeles, California, 2007, p. 3

D. Raufelder, L. Nitsche, S. Breitmeyer, S. Keßler, E. Herrmann, N. Regner, Int. J. Educ. Res. 75 (2016) 31

S. H. Birch, G. W. Ladd, J. School Psychol. 35 (1997) 61

R. C. Pianta, B. Hamre, M. Stuhlman, Comprehensive handbook of psychology: educational psychology, W. Reynolds and G. Miller, John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York, 2003, p. 199

R. Radel, P. Sarrazin, P. Legrain, C. Wild, J. Educ. Psychol 102 (2010) 577

P. A. Jennings, M. T. Greenberg, Rev. Educ. Res. 79 (2009) 491

R. A. Baron, D. Byrne, Social psychology: Understanding human interaction, Allyn and Bacon, Boston, 1991

J. Osborne, S. Simon, S. Collins, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 25 (2003) 1049

T. Koballa, W. Gräber, D. C. Coleman, A. C. Kemp, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 22 (2000) 209

A. Bandura, Social foundation of thought and action: a social cognitive theory, Cliffs Englewood, Prentice-Hall, 1986, p. 617

C. M. Rubie-Davies, A. Flint, L.G. McDonald, Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 82 (2012) 270

A. Woolfolk Hoy, W. K. Hoy, H. A. Davis, Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs In Handbook of Motivation in Schools, K. Wentzel, A. Wigfield, (Eds.), Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, New York, 2009, p. 627

Eric, B. Bektasli, The effect of media on preservice science teachers’ attitudes toward astronomy and achievement in astronomy class, The Turkish Online J. Educ. Techn., 12 (2013) 139, (25. 3. 2016)

S. Markic, I. Eilks, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 9 (2008) 25

J. G. Mahdi, Am. J. Educ. Res. 2 (2014) 351

I. Devetak, Clarifying latent space understanding of micro presentations of science, PhD Thesis, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2005

A. H. Johnstone, School Sci. Rev. 64 (1982) 377

G. Chittleborough, Learning with understanding in the Chemistry Classroom, I. Devetak, S. A. Glažar, (Eds.), Springer, Dordrech, The Netherlands, 2014, p. 25

P. Mahaffy, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 5 (2004) 229

V. Ferk-Savec, M. Vrtačnik, Elementi vizualizacije pri pouku naravoslovja, Faculty of Education, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2007, p. 37

A. G. Harrison, D. F. Treagust, Sci. Educ., 80 (1996) 509

J. D. Bradley, M. Brand, G. G. Gerrans, S. Afr. J. Chem., 51 (1998) 85

H.-K. Wu, J. S. Krajcik, E. Soloway, J. Res. Sci. Teach., 38 (2001) 821

D. M. Bunce, D. Gabel, J. Res. Sci. Teach. 39 (2002) 911

R. M. Kelly, L. L. Jones, J. Chem. Educ. 85 (2008) 303

I. Devetak, J. Vogrinc, S. A. Glažar, Res. Sci. Educ. 39 (2009) 157

A. H. Johnstone, Educ. Chem., 36 (1999) 45

A. H. Johnstone, J. Comput. Assisted Learn., 7 (1991) 75

D. Gabel, J. Chem. Educ. 76 (1999) 548

A. G. Harrison, D. F. Treagust, Sch. Sci. Math., 98 (1998) 420

R. B. Thiele, D. F. Treagust, J. Res. Sci. Teach., 31 (1994) 227

D. Gabel, The Complexity of Chemistry and Implications for Teaching In International Handbook of Science Education, B. J. Frazer, K. J. Tobin (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrech, The Netherlands, (1998), p. 233

D. F. Treagust, G. D. Chittleborough, T. L. Mamiala, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 25 (2003) 1353

G. D. Chittleborough, D. F. Treagust, M. Mocerino, Constraints to the Development of First Year University Students` Mental Models of Chemical Phenomena, Teaching and Learning Forum 2002, Focusing on the Student, Curtin University of Technology, (14.5.2016)

V. M. Williamson, M. R. Abraham, J. Res. Sci. Teach. 32 (1995) 521

Michigan Experts, University of Michigan, H.-K. Wu, P. Shah, Exploring Visuospatial Thinking in Chemistry Learning, Sci. Educ. 88 (2004) 465 (15.5.2016)

C. S. Carter, M. A. Larussa, G. M. Bodner, J. Res. Sci. Teach. 19 (1987) 697

N. Valanides, Stud. Educ. Evaluation, 24 (1998) 1

T. N. Hrin, D. D. Milenković, M. D. Segedinac, S. Horvat, J. Serb. Chem. Soc. (2016), doi: 10.2298/JSC160811097H

K.-W. L. Lee, J. Chem. Educ. 76 (1999) 1008

I. Eilks, Students’ and Teacher’ Mental Models of the Particulate Nature of Matter, Concepts of Matter in Science Education, G. Tsaparlis, H. Sevian, (Eds.) Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2013, p. 213

V. Ferk-Savec, I. Sajovic, K. S. Wissiak Grm, Multiple representations in chemical education, Models and modeling in science education, J. K. Gilbert, Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2009, p. 309

G. Papageorgioua, P. Johnson, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 27 (2005) 1299

L. T. Tien, M. A. Teichert, D. Rickey, J. Chem. Educ. 84 (2007) 175

B. Andersson, Stud. Sci. Educ. 18 (1990) 53

A. G. Harrison, D. F. Treagust, Sci. Educ. 84 (2000) 352

O. Lee, D. C. Eichinger, C. W. Anderson, G. D. Berkheimer, T. D. Blakeslee, J. Res. Sci. Teach. 30 (1993) 249

D. R. Mulford, W. R. Robinson, J. Chem. Educ. 79 (2002) 739

TIMSS&PIRLS International Study Center (2012), TIMSS 2011 International Results in Science, (14.5.2016)

TIMSS&PIRLS International Study Center (2016), TIMSS 2015 International Results in Science, (14.5.2016)

OECD (2016), PISA 2015 Results, (14. 5. 2016)

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, First Cycle Programme for education of two-subject teachers’, (25. 5. 2016)

University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry, Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education M. Aksela, Evidence-based teacher education: becoming a lifelong research-oriented chemistry teacher? Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 11 (2010) 84, https://tuhat.hel¬¬579).html, (23. 4. 2016)

K. Putica, D. D. Trivic, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 17 (2016) 172

V.-M. Vesterinen, S. Tolppanen, M. Aksela, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 38 (2016) 30

V.-M. Vesterinen, M. Aksela, Sci. Educ. 22 (2013) 2193.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 J. Serb. Chem. Soc.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

IMPACT FACTOR 0.822 (131 of 166 journals)
5 Year Impact Factor 1.015 (118 of 166 journals)