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ERIC Number: EJ1007930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Reasoning Using Particulate Nature of Matter: An Example of a Sociochemical Norm in a University-Level Physical Chemistry Class
Becker, Nicole; Rasmussen, Chris; Sweeney, George; Wawro, Megan; Towns, Marcy; Cole, Renee
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v14 n1 p81-94 2013
In college level chemistry courses, reasoning using molecular and particulate descriptions of matter becomes central to understanding physical and chemical properties. In this study, we used a qualitative approach to analyzing classroom discourse derived from Toulmin's model of argumentation in order to describe the ways in which students develop particulate-level justifications for claims about thermodynamic properties. Our analysis extends the construct of sociomathematical norms to a chemistry context in order to describe disciplinary criteria for reasoning and justification, which we refer to as sociochemical norms. By examining how whole class and small group discussions shape norms related to reasoning, we provide suggestions for teaching practices in inquiry-oriented settings. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A