Trends in PhD Theses in Turkish Chemistry Education (1999-2019)

Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.89.10


Purpose:  This study analyzes the content of doctoral theses completed in chemistry education within the last two decades (1999-2019) after the restructuring of education faculties in Turkey. This study examines the doctoral dissertations completed in chemistry education in 1999-2019 concerning their year of publication, university, objective, research design, sample properties, data collection tools and data analysis methods.

Research Methods: This study was conducted using the qualitative research method of document review. The documents analyzed as part of this study were PhD theses completed in chemistry education in Turkey in 1999-2019. The theses were subjected to descriptive content analysis.

Findings: The findings obtained in this study showed that the number of theses began to increase in 2001 and reached its peak in 2012, before beginning to taper off in the following years. The Middle East Technical University published the highest number of theses. It was observed that most theses concerned the development and implementation of a teaching method. Quasi-experimental designs featured prominently as a research method, with most samples comprising high-school-level study groups. Although examples of quantitative research were more on the whole, in recent years, there was a higher number of studies based on mixed and qualitative research. Interviews and concept testing/achievement tests were frequently observed as data collection tools, while inferential and descriptive statistics were predominantly brought to bear as data analysis methods.

Implications for Research and Practice: This findings obtained in this study suggest that more emphasis should be placed on graduate courses that teach research methods, incorporating more practice sessions because the research methods used in the theses were not specified appropriately by the researchers. There is also a need, in keeping with international trends, to focus more on mixed-method research, and to increase the number of qualitative studies, which do a better job of exploring educational environments naturally.

Keywords: Chemistry education, content analysis, PhD thesis, trend.