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ERIC Number: EJ1167054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
The Logical and Psychological Structure of Physical Chemistry and Its Relevance to the Organization/Sequencing of the Major Areas Covered in Physical Chemistry Textbooks
Tsaparlis, Georgios
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v15 n3 p391-401 Jul 2014
Jensen's scheme for the logical structure of chemistry is taken as reference to study the logical structure of physical chemistry. The scheme distinguishes three dimensions (composition and structure, energy, and time), with each dimension treated at one of the three levels (molar, molecular, and electrical). Such a structure places the outer limits, leading to two alternative approaches to teaching physical chemistry: the "analytical approach," which reflects the historical development of the field, starts at the molar level with matter (substances as we find them in the laboratory), and moves to the molecular and electrical levels; and the "synthetic approach," which begins with the structure and behavior of matter. An analysis of twenty physical chemistry textbooks was carried out with the aim of examining the organization/sequencing in the books of the major areas of physical chemistry. A dichotomy between the macroscopic/phenomenological and the submicroscopic molecular/atomic/electronic approaches to physical chemistry is evident from the analysis. Although phenomenological subjects are also abstract, involving complicated concepts and mathematics, quantum chemistry and statistical thermodynamics are considered to be more difficult. Most authors favor the traditional analytical approach, while others prefer to focus on the molecular synthetic approach. However, many authors remain open to alternative approaches of their own.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A