Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science


Center for the Advancement of Education


Field Dependence Independence/ Word Problems/ Problem Solving/ Chemistry/ High School/ College Bound Students/ Secondary Education/ Physical Science/ Critical Thinking/ Logical Thinking/ Game Theory/ Testing/ Test Wiseness/ Cognitive Development/ Cognitive Style


The author has created and implemented a program to help field/dependent chemistry students solve word problems (stoichiometry). Problem solving is the most complex form of human activity and one of the hardest to teach. Field/dependent students have the greatest difficulty doing word problems. Field/dependent students cannot separate relevent clues from misleading clues in word problems. Fifty eight percent of the regular high school chemistry students in this study are field/dependent. The program contains six basic components: individual blackboards, games, analogies, special labs, imagery and testing format. Individual blackboards enable the student to receive individual attention, immediate feedback and work at their own pace. It also enhances small group dynamics. Games, imagery and special labs help students to memorize and remember the important components they need to problem solve in chemistry. Analogies help to bring the material closer to the real world. Questioning format focuses in on one concept at a time. Sixty percent of the students can now handle 60% of the basic word problems (stoichiometry) after ten weeks. Additional benefits consists of improvement in their self image about their ability to handle word problems. (Appendices include field/dependent test results, pre-post tests, pre-post self evaluation tests, questioning format, blackboard and game instructions.)

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