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ERIC Number: EJ1067719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
Mapping Students' Conceptual Modes When Thinking about Chemical Reactions Used to Make a Desired Product
Weinrich, M. L.; Talanquer, V.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v16 n3 p561-577 Jul 2015
The central goal of this qualitative research study was to uncover major implicit assumptions that students with different levels of training in the discipline apply when thinking and making decisions about chemical reactions used to make a desired product. In particular, we elicited different ways of conceptualizing why chemical reactions happen (chemical causality), how these processes occur (chemical mechanism), and how they can be controlled (chemical control). In each of these areas we characterized conceptual modes with different explanatory power and explored how they were applied by participants when facing different types of questions. Our findings suggest potential paths in the development of understanding about chemical reactions in the context of making specific substances. Our study also highlights the benefits of analyzing students' understanding not only by focusing on implicit cognitive elements, but by using disciplinary crosscutting concepts as lenses of analysis. This articles contains notes and references.
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1222624; 1221494