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ERIC Number: EJ1002926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Conceptual Change, Productive Practices, and Themata: Supporting Chemistry Classroom Talk
Criswell, Brett A.; Rushton, Gregory T.
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n10 p1236-1242 Oct 2012
Vygotsky described the distinction between the "appearance and essence of things" as generating the need for science; he also discussed how this difference is responsible for the fundamental challenge faced by science teachers, as it often requires them to have to build bridges between students' ideas and those of science. Those bridges are often constructed in the conversation around activities designed to help students explore scientific (and in the current context, chemical) phenomena. This article provides suggestions about how a teacher might facilitate such conversations by overviewing two frameworks, Stein and colleagues' practices for orchestrating productive disciplinary discussions and Holton's notion of thematic origins of scientific thought, and considering how those two frameworks might be integrated. To make the ideas being advocated more concrete, they are applied to an actual lesson that occurred in an introductory high school chemistry class. Through this example, the authors attempt to make clear the potential of this approach for effectively supporting students in gaining deeper awareness of their own conceptions, as well as of different ways of coming to know (i.e., different epistemologies) in science. This article encourages readers to engage in a dialogue about how to use these principles in their particular contexts.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A