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ERIC Number: EJ1073045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Writing-to-Learn the Nature of Science in the Context of the Lewis Dot Structure Model
Shultz, Ginger V.; Gere, Anne Ruggles
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n8 p1325-1329 Aug 2015
Traditional methods for teaching the Lewis dot structure model emphasize rule-based learning and often neglect the purpose and function of the model. Thus, many students are unable to extend their understanding of molecular structures in new contexts. The assignment described here addresses this issue by asking students to read and write about the 1916 paper, in which Lewis proposed the original ideas that led to the dot structure model taught in modern general chemistry courses. This directed writing-to-learn approach is designed to promote conceptual learning of the Lewis dot structure model and to transform students' beliefs about the nature of science as they evaluate the early model presented by Lewis and compare it to the conventional model taught in lecture. Participating students responded to a pre-post survey, which indicated modest gains in their conceptions of the nature of science. The assignment is designed for college-level general chemistry students but may be modified for use in high school chemistry and is generally transportable to other fundamental topics in chemistry in which accessible literature is available as an appropriate source for directed reading and writing.
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 - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A