Development and Application of the Democratic Chemistry Classroom Environment Inventory (DCEI) in Iranian Universities
Keywords:Democratic Education, Chemistry Classroom Environment, DCEI, Learning Environments Research, Students’ Satisfaction
This article reports the development and application of the Democratic Chemistry Classroom Environment Inventory (DCEI) which assesses students’ perceptions of six dimensions of their actual and preferred classroom environment: Equality, Important knowledge, Participatory decision-making, Inclusiveness, Rights and Authority. The DCEI was field tested with a sample of 510 Iranian first and second year undergraduate students in 23 chemistry classes. Various analyses attested to each scale’s reliability, factorial validity, and ability to differentiate between the perceptions of students in different classes. The data from this instrument is equally valid in its actual and preferred versions. In addition, comparison of Iranian university students’ scores on actual and preferred forms of the questionnaire revealed that students, within a democratic education framework, were not satisfied and preferred a more positive chemistry environment on all scales. The work is unique because it is the first classroom environment study which is concerned about democratic education ideas in chemistry classrooms and provides one of the few classroom environment studies conducted in Iran.
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