High School Student Case Study

This article reports a research study conducted with four chemistry teachers in three high schools (two government schools and one private school) in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The study investigated questions concerning common difficulties high school (Grades 9 and 10) students experience in chemistry classroom, the possible reasons for these difficulties, and the ways in which teachers help students overcome these difficulties. A qualitative case study method was used to investigate the questions, which used in-depth interviews with teachers, classroom observation, and postobservation discussion with the teachers, as main data collection tools. The key findings of the study allude to a huge gap between what is intended in the National Curriculum in terms of students’ learning in chemistry and what actually happens in the classroom where students learn chemistry. Promoting in-depth learning appeared to be an uphill task for the teachers. The main hurdle lies in students’ inability to demonstrate a good understanding of very basic concepts of the subject. Despite faced with such a challenge, the teachers appear to be committed to teaching their subject. The implications of the results of the study are explained in the context of schools, teachers, and other educational stakeholders by emphasizing the need for synchronization and integration of efforts on the part of schools.

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