Santiago Sandi-Urena, Todd Gatlin, Adrian Villalta-Cerdas (University of South Florida, USA)
Chemistry educators agree on the significant role of laboratory instruction in advancing chemical education. The academic laboratory is often presented as an opportunity for learners to develop conceptual understanding, technical skills and sophistication of their understanding of doing science. This view is supported by most systematic research and review work done in the field. However, we contend that this kind of work has often centered on pre-college learning environments and that findings have been assumed transferable to higher education. We postulate that an analysis of research specific to tertiary level laboratory instruction may afford a better picture of the current state of the field, help identify strengths, gaps and possible new directions. For this purpose, we are in the process of conducting a multi-level review of research articles that specifically address learning in the academic chemistry laboratory at tertiary level. This talk will discuss some of the preliminary findings.