NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ883540
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Using Think-Aloud Protocols to Investigate Secondary School Chemistry Teachers' Misconceptions about Chemical Equilibrium
Cheung, Derek
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v10 n2 p97-108 2009
Secondary school chemistry teachers' understanding of chemical equilibrium was investigated through interviews using the think-aloud technique. The interviews were conducted with twelve volunteer chemistry teachers in Hong Kong. Their teaching experience ranged from 3 to 18 years. They were asked to predict what would happen to the equilibrium system N[subscript 2](g) + 3H[subscript 2](g) [double-harpoon] 2NH[subscript 3](g) if a small amount of nitrogen gas is added to the system at constant pressure and temperature. Analyses of the transcribed protocols indicated that regardless of the teachers' years of teaching experience, none of the twelve teachers were able to solve the chemical equilibrium problem. An over-emphasis of Le Chatelier's principle was found to be a major contributing factor to teachers' problem-solving failures. They held the misconception that one can always cause an equilibrium system to shift to the right by increasing the concentration of a reactant. The interviewed teachers were classified into two problem-solving categories based on their cognitive sources of failures. Excerpts from the transcripts discuss the differences between the two categories as well as the hints given to teachers to help them solve the chemical equilibrium problem. (Contains 5 tables.)
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: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong