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ERIC Number: EJ1116227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
Students' Mental Models of Atomic Spectra
Körhasan, Nilüfer Didis; Wang, Lu
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v17 n4 p743-755 Oct 2016
Mental modeling, which is a theory about knowledge organization, has been recently studied by science educators to examine students' understanding of scientific concepts. This qualitative study investigates undergraduate students' mental models of atomic spectra. Nine second-year physics students, who have already taken the basic chemistry and chemistry laboratory application courses, participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants. The analysis revealed that students had four types of coherently organized knowledge structures: the Scientific Model of Atomic Spectra (SMAS), the Primitive Scientific Model of Atomic Spectra (PSMAS), No Photon Model (NPM), and the Orbit Model (OM). Identified mental models indicated that students used some fundamental concepts interchangeably, and "electronic transition" and "photon energy" were the threshold concepts for students' scientific understanding of atomic spectra.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A