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Demographic Characteristics of Chemistry Teachers in Croatia Affecting the use of Pre- laboratory Activities in the Classroom

Snježana Smerdel, Meliha Zejnilagić-Hajrić


Pre-laboratory activities are designed to focus the attention of students on some aspects of the experiment they are preparing to do during the week. Previous research has found that such activities reduce the cognitive load in laboratory time and tend to increase the efficiency of students’ laboratory work. This research aims at comparing the importance of demographic characteristics affecting the teachers’ use of pre-laboratory activities in a chemistry class.  In the frame of the quantitative survey research, an online questionnaire was completed by 166 chemistry teachers from all regions in Croatia. In pre-laboratory sessions, the teachers most commonly used a pre-lab discussion and pre-lab worksheets whereas computer simulations were represented the least. Three characteristics affecting the teachers’ use of pre-laboratory activities in chemistry classes were their gender, age and teaching subjects. The teachers’ education, teaching experience and school types were nonsignificant characteristics.


Cognitive load; pre-laboratory activities; pre-learning strategy; secondary chemistry education

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