Construction d’outils didactiques pour remédier aux difficultés d’apprentissage du concept de concentration en chimie dans le secondaire supérieur - Appui sur les neurosciences cognitives

  • Bénédicte Willame

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


In chemistry the concentration of a solute in a solution is a central concept that comes up throughout the whole school curriculum. A lot of difficulties prevent the learners from gaining an expert acquisition. Our study seeks to remedy these difficulties by using the model of conceptual change completed by results of cognitive neuroscience studies.
Questionnaires were given to pupils following the Belgian francophone education system (grades 10 to 12) in order to bring out the learner's conceptions of the chemical concentration concept. Among the five recurring errors highlighted, three are related to the intensive nature of the chemical concentration, the confusion between solvent volume and solution volume, and the specific vocabulary used to express this concept. Individual interviews enabled us to clarify the main cognitive dysfunctions at the origin of these errors.
A didactic self-assessment tool has been elaborated so that the students can quickly identify the type of errors they make and then move towards an adapted remediation.
Then, we developed remediation activities involving a percepto-cognitive conflict without and with an inhibition training of irrelevant conceptions in the context of chemical concentration. The objective is to allow an activation (or a reactivation) of the relevant strategies in order to make them prevalent in this context.
The results obtained show that these activities have a positive impact on the chemical concentration learning and that privileged cognitive links seem to exist during the change of prevalence.
Date of Award7 Dec 2017
Original languageFrench
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorPhilippe SNAUWAERT (Supervisor), Carmela APRILE (President), Marie-Pascale Noël (Jury), Jim PLUMAT (Jury), Patrice Potvin (Jury) & JOHAN WOUTERS (Jury)

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

  • IRDENa


  • Chemical concentration
  • Learning difficulties
  • Remediation tools
  • Conceptual change
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Conceptual prevalence

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