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ERIC Number: EJ916715
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
When Is a Molecule Three Dimensional? A Task-Specific Role for Imagistic Reasoning in Advanced Chemistry
Stieff, Mike
Science Education, v95 n2 p310-336 Mar 2011
Imagistic reasoning appears to be a critical strategy for learning and problem solving in the sciences, particularly chemistry; however, little is known about how students use imagistic reasoning on genuine assessment tasks in chemistry. The present study employed a think-aloud protocol to explore when and how students use imagistic reasoning for problem solving in organic chemistry. The analysis suggests that students employ imagistic reasoning preferentially for translating between various molecular representations. On more complex tasks typical of classroom assessments, the students' problem solving appears mostly dependent on the accuracy of self-generated inscriptions rather than the use of imagistic reasoning. The results indicate a variable interplay between imagistic reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning that suggests several pedagogical implications for teaching college chemistry. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A