First Advisor

Barbera, Jack

Second Advisor

Pacheco, Kimberly A.O.

Document Type


Date Created



When general chemistry students register for organic chemistry, they often have a negative connotation associated with the topic. It has been observed that students talk as if they are experts in what organic chemistry is and exactly how hard it is when many of them have had very little background on the subject. Some students do not even know what topics organic chemistry encompasses. By establishing a framework of where their preconceptions come from and what they are, instructors, will have a better understanding of how to address preconceptions when beginning an organic chemistry course, or perhaps even before. Furthermore, relationships can be investigated between students' preconceptions and their success in organic chemistry. This mixed methods study was designed to investigate what preconceptions were found surrounding organic chemistry, the source of the preconceptions, and the association with student success. Results of this study indicate there are no significant correlations between students' preconceptions and their success in organic chemistry. There may however, be other underlying factors bridging their preconceptions and success. In addition to the qualitative results, quantitative chi-square and regression statistics will be discussed and presented.

Abstract Format



Organic Chemistry; Science Education; Student Preconceptions; Student Fears; Student Attitudes; Student Success


201 pages

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