Purdue University Graduate School

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Integration of Ethnochemistry in a General Chemistry Course

posted on 2024-04-17, 13:02 authored by Ilayda KelleyIlayda Kelley

Student attitudes towards chemistry are a contributing factor to their success in chemistry courses and retention in STEMM in higher education. In the last decade, STEMM attrition rates have been an area of concern in the United States. Research in K12 classrooms has demonstrated that culturally relevant pedagogies (CRP) can improve student learning and attitudes toward STEMM. CRP consists of instructional practices and lessons that connect with students’ cultural backgrounds, experiences, and interests. However, few studies on these practices address long term improvements or treatments in a higher education setting. Integration of ethnoscience in course material is a CRP strategy that utilizes cultural systems of knowledge in relation to coursework. This strategy is now an area of interest in the field of chemistry education. This study uses an action research methodology to integrate ethnochemistry into a large, multicultural, first-year general chemistry course and evaluate the impact on student attitudes towards chemistry.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Angeline Lyon

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Selcen Guzey

Additional Committee Member 2

Jake Burdick

Additional Committee Member 3

Mallory Kern

Additional Committee Member 4

Hannah Starr