Rejoice Elikem Vorsah, Kenneth Adu-Gyamfi


Mole concept is one of the challenging chemical concepts in the teaching and learning of chemistry. West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chemistry Chief Examiners for years, have been hammering on students’ difficulties in this concept at the senior high school level. This study, therefore, examined the practices of teachers on the perceived nature of the teaching and learning of mole concept. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods design was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from 32 chemistry teachers from four public schools in the Central Region. The teachers were selected through multistage sampling technique. Questionnaires, interviews, and observation checklist were used to collect data from the teachers. Data was analysed using percentages, means, standard deviations, and themes. The results showed that teachers have moderately positive perceptions of the nature of teaching mole concept, which are full of uncertainty and that, teachers barely practice that they profess to teach on mole concept. It is recommended, among other things, that Ministry of Education through Heads of senior high schools should monitor chemistry teachers to ensure that they effectively teach the concept to students by implementing their planned lessons.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


chemistry; mole concept; perception; practice; teachers

Full Text:



Achimugu, L. (2016). Senior secondary school chemistry teacher’s perception of the factors affecting the effective utilization of ICT in teaching and learning chemistry. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 7(10), 1906-1909.

Adu-Gyamfi, K., Ampiah, J. G., & Agyei, D. D. (2018). Teachers’ problems of teaching of oxidation-reduction reactions in high schools. European Journal of Education Studies, 5(5), 53-70. doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1471731

Adu-Gyamfi, K., Ampiah, J. G., & Appiah, J. Y. (2013). Senior high school chemistry students’ performance in IUPAC nomenclature of organic compounds. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 8(4), 472-483.

Arya A., & Kumar A. (2018). Mole concept and problem solving approaches in life sciences (2nd ed.). New Delhi: High Value: Drawing Pin Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326519607_Mole_Concept_and_Problems_Solving_Approaches_in_Life_Sciences/link/5b52fae6a6fdcc8dae349cce/download

Bond-Robinson, J. (2005). Identifying pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in the chemistry laboratory. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 6 (2), 83-103. DOI: 10.1039/B5RP90003D

Boz, Y., & Uzuntiryaki, E. (2006). Turkish prospective chemistry teachers’ beliefs about chemistry teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 28(14), 1647-1667. DOI: 10.1080/09500690500439132

Bucat B., & Mocerino M. (2009). Learning at the Sub-micro Level: Structural Representations. In: J. K. Gilbert, & D. Treagust (Eds.), Multiple representations in chemical education. models and modeling in science education (vol 4). Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8872-8_2

Chang, R. (2008). General chemistry: The essential concepts (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Chavan, R. (2013). Difficulties encountered by science teachers during teaching concepts of science. A paper presented for National Conference on Challenges in teacher education, physical education and sports, Department of Education & Physical Education, Mahavir Vidhyalaya, Kolhapur in Association with Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Education, Kolhapur.

Davis, E. A., Petish, D., & Smithey, J. (2006). Challenges new science teachers face. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 607-651. doi.org/10.3102%2F00346543076004607

De Quadros, A. L., Carvalho Da-Silva, D., Silva, F. C., Pereira de Andrade, F., Aleme, H. G., Tristão, J. C., & De Freitas-Silva, G. (2011). The knowledge of chemistry in secondary education: difficulties from the teachers' viewpoint. Journal of Chemical Education, 22(3), 232-239.

Faizal, W. W. M., Helmi, E., Azilawaty, A. N., Nurulamirah, A., & Nurshuhada, N. (n.d.). Students’ alternative conceptions regarding the mole concept: A literature review. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/9549697/Students_Alternative_ Conceptions_Regarding_The_Mole_Concept_A_Literature_Review.

Goh, S. C. (2002). Managing effective knowledge transfer: an integrative framework and some practice implications. Journal of knowledge management, 6(1), 23-30.

Hanson, R. (2016). Ghanaian teacher trainees conceptual understanding of stoichiometry. Journal of Science Education, 3(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.20448/journal.509/2016.3.1/509.1.1.8

Indriyanti, N. Y., & Barke, H. D. (2017). Teaching the mole concept with sub-micro level: Do the students perform better? AIP Conference Proceedings 1868, 030002 (2017); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4995101

Jensen, W. B. (2004). The origin of the mole concept. Journal of chemical education, 81, 1409.

Kolb, D. (1978). Chemical principles revisited: The mole. Journal of Chemical Education, 55(11), 728 – 732. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed055p728

Lok, W. F., Yau, P. W., & Aw, Y. J. (2017). The matriculation students' learning experiences in stoichiometry using diagram and verbal explanation. Paper presented at the 7th International Conference of Science and Mathematics Education (CoSMEd), Penang, Malaysia.

Mahdi, J. G. (2014). Student attitudes towards chemistry: An examination of choices and preferences. American Journal of Educational Research, 2(6), 351-356. https://doi.org/10.12691/EDUCATION-2-6-3

Malcolm, S. A., Rollnick, M., & Mavhunga, M. E. (2014). Conceptualization of the mole: An argument for a refined conception of the mole for effective teaching of stoichiometry. A paper presented as a Short Paper at the 22nd Annual Conference of SAARMSTE. 13-16 January 2014, at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

McLeod, L. (2017). Kolb’s learning styles and experiential learning cycle. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html

Ministry of Education. (2010). Teaching syllabus for Chemistry. Senior high school 1-3. Accra, Ghana: Author.

Moss, K., & Pabari, A. (2010). The mole misunderstood. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 6, 77-86. https://doi.org/10.29311/ndtps.v0i6.392

Musa, U. (2009). Teaching the mole concept using a conceptual change method at college level. Journal of Science Education, 129(4), 683-691.

Nelson, P. G. (2013). What is the mole? Foundations of Chemistry, 15, 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10698-013-9185-1

Novick, S., & Menis, J. (1976). A study of student perceptions of the mole concept. Journal of Chemical Education, 53(11), 715-720. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed053p720

Padilla, K., & Garritz, A. (2014). Stoichiometry’s PCK of university chemistry professors. Retrieved from https://repensarlaquimica.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/016-padilla-garritz-rse.pdf

Pekdağ, B., & Azizoğlu, N. (2013). Semantic mistakes and didactic difficulties in teaching the amount of substance concept: A useful model. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 14(1), 117–128. DOI: 10.1039/c2rp20132a

Petrucci, R. H., Herring, F. G., Madura, J. D., & Bissonnette, C. (2017). General chemistry. Principles and modern applications (11th ed.). Toronto: Pearson Canada Inc.

Sarkodie, P. A., & Adu-Gyamfi, K. (2015). Improving students’ performance in naming and writing structural formulae of hydrocarbons using ball and stick models. Bulgarian Journal of Science Education, 24(2), 203-219.

Shadreck, M., & Enunuwe, O. C. (2018). Recurrent difficulties: Stoichiometry problem-solving. African Journal of Educational Studies in Mathematics and Sciences, 14, 25-31.

Shehu, G. (2015). Two ideas of redox reaction: Misconceptions and their challenges in chemistry education. IOSR Journal of Research and Method in Education, 5(1), 15-20.

Sözbilir, M. (2004). What makes physical chemistry difficult? Perceptions of Turkish chemistry undergraduates and lecturers. Journal of Chemical Education, 81(4), 573. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed081p573

Strömdahl, H., Tullberg, A., & Lybeck, L. (1994). The qualitatively different conceptions. International Journal of Science Education, 16, 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950069940160102

Suchting, W. A. (1998). Constructivism deconstructed. In M. R. Mathews (Ed.), Constructivism in science education (pp. 61-92). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-5032-3_4

Swan, K. (2005). A constructivist model for thinking about learning online. In J. Bourne, & J. C. Moore (Eds.), Elements of quality online education: Engaging communities (pp. 13-31). Needham, MA: Sloam-C.

Taber, K. S. (2001). Constructing chemical concepts in the classroom?: Using research to inform practice. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2(1), 43-51. DOI: 10.1039/B0RP90029J

Taber, K. S. (2011). Constructivism as educational theory: Contingency in learning, and optimally guided instruction. In J. Hassaskhah (Ed.), Educational theory (pp. 39-61). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Vikasana-Bridge Course. (2012). Mole concept. Retrieved from http://kea.kar.nic.in/vikasana/bridge/chemistry/chap_03_ppt.pdf

West Africa Examinations Council. [WAEC]. (2015). Chief examiner’s report: general science programme: May/June West Africa senior secondary certificate examination. Accra: Author.

West Africa Examinations Council. [WAEC]. (2016). Chief examiner’s report: general science programme: May/June West Africa senior secondary certificate examination. Accra: Author.

West Africa Examinations Council. [WAEC]. (2017). Chief examiner’s report: General science programme: May/June West Africa senior secondary certificate examination. Accra: Author.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v8i2.3556


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Rejoice Elikem Vorsah, Kenneth Adu-Gyamfi

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

Copyright © 2015-2022. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).