Representational classroom practices that contribute to students' conceptual and representational understanding of chemical bonding

Hilton, Annette and Nichols, Kim (2011) Representational classroom practices that contribute to students' conceptual and representational understanding of chemical bonding. International Journal of Science Education, 33 16: 2215-2246. doi:10.1080/09500693.2010.543438

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Author Hilton, Annette
Nichols, Kim
Title Representational classroom practices that contribute to students' conceptual and representational understanding of chemical bonding
Journal name International Journal of Science Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-0693
1464-5289
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09500693.2010.543438
Open Access Status
Volume 33
Issue 16
Start page 2215
End page 2246
Total pages 32
Place of publication Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Understanding bonding is fundamental to success in chemistry. A number of alternative conceptions related to chemical bonding have been reported in the literature. Research suggests that many alternative conceptions held by chemistry students result from previous teaching; if teachers are explicit in the use of representations and explain their content-specific forms and functions, this might be avoided. The development of an understanding of and ability to use multiple representations is crucial to students’ understanding of chemical bonding. This paper draws on data from a larger study involving two Year 11 chemistry classes (n = 27, n = 22). It explores the contribution of explicit instruction about multiple representations to students’ understanding and representation of chemical bonding. The instructional strategies were documented using audio-recordings and the teacher-researcher’s reflection journal. Pre-test–post-test comparisons showed an improvement in conceptual understanding and representational competence. Analysis of the students’ texts provided further evidence of the students’ ability to use multiple representations to explain macroscopic phenomena on the molecular level. The findings suggest that explicit instruction about representational form and function contributes to the enhancement of representational competence and conceptual understanding of bonding in chemistry. However, the scaffolding strategies employed by the teacher play an important role in the learning process. This research has implications for professional development enhancing teachers’ approaches to these aspects of instruction around chemical bonding.
Keyword Multiple representations
Multimodal text
Chemistry education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Education Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 01 Jul 2011, 11:08:50 EST by Claire Backhouse on behalf of School of Education