n South African Journal of Higher Education - Is chemistry everything to engineering students? Let their experiences talk

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article draws on a case study of five engineering students who were studying chemistry at a university in South Africa. Chemistry was one of the compulsory modules for the course as it was claimed to be everything to engineering students, but it was also indicated as one of the most difficult modules because of its many concepts. The article gives these students a voice by investigating their experiences framed by the curricular spider web. The students' experiences told different stories around the claim. Data generation occurred through document analysis and one-to-one semi-structured interviews. The article prioritises the alignment of Technology in Education (hard-ware and soft-ware) and Technology of Education (ideological-ware) in order to do justice to engineering students. The study is important because it may contribute towards finding a solution around the high failure rate of students in learning chemistry.

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