Models, Molecules and Misconceptions: A Commentary on “Secondary School Students’ Misconceptions of Covalent Bonding”

Authors

  • Keith S. TABER

Keywords:

Student Misconceptions, Understanding Chemical Bonding, Pedagogical Learning Impediments, The Octet Alternative Conceptual Framework, The Bonding Dichotomy Teaching Model

Abstract

Learners often find studying secondary school chemistry challenging, and commonly develop alternative understandings of the subject, variously labelled by researchers as misconceptions, alternative conceptions, conceptual frameworks, and so forth. An example of enquiry into this area is provided by Ünal, Coştu & Ayas in a recent paper in the Journal of Turkish Science Education. Ünal and colleagues explored student misconceptions relating to the fundamental concept of covalent bonding, and classified student responses in their study according to both the soundness of student comments, and the presence of misconceptions. Research of this kind is complicated by both the nature of the simplifications used to teach chemistry at this level (which complicate decisions about what is taken to constitute ‘sound’ student knowledge), and the difficulty of appreciating the nature of student ‘misconceptions’, which may actually vary considerably in their significance for progression in student learning. This commentary offers a reconsideration of Ünal and colleagues’ results in the light of previous published research into student understanding of chemical bonding, which suggests that Turkish Secondary School students’ thinking about Bonding seems to reflect a previously reported alternative conceptual framework.

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Section

Articles

Published

15.03.2011

How to Cite

TABER, K. S. . (2011). Models, Molecules and Misconceptions: A Commentary on “Secondary School Students’ Misconceptions of Covalent Bonding”. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 8(1), 3-18. https://www.tused.org/index.php/tused/article/view/342

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