Beyond Intentions: Understanding the Gap between Safety Education and Student Behaviors

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Department of Chemistry; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Safety skills are recognized as essential lab skills for students, necessitating the incorporation of active learning of chemical safety education into undergraduate curricula. Meaningful engagement of students in training and education on principle-based lab safety skills, chemical information sources, and general safety instructions is crucial for the development and enhancement of their safety awareness, knowledge, and ability to apply safe practices. However, limited research has comprehensively examined students' lab safety behavior, mindset, and culture. In this study, we investigate the cognitive engagement and behavior exhibited by students as well as their questions and concerns regarding lab safety. The findings suggest a misalignment between students' behavior and their safety mindset, highlighting the importance of further research and interventions to bridge this gap.

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Journal of Chemical Education