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Do visual models support development of scientific explanations of ionisation energy values?

Wheeldon, R; (2013) Do visual models support development of scientific explanations of ionisation energy values? In: Constantinou, CP and Papadouris, N and Hadjigeorgiou, A, (eds.) E-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference: Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning. European Science Education Research Association: Nicosia, Cyprus. Gold open access

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Abstract

Chemistry pupils and their teachers often use non scientific causal arguments in ionisation energy explanations. This research examines how activities which model the electrostatic character of electron/electron and electron/nucleus interactions can support the development of scientific explanations. 39 chemistry preservice teachers (PSTs)? responses to true/false statements were analysed before and after the interventions in order to determine the change in explanatory ideas used. Six of these PSTs were also interviewed to similarly identify changes in their explanations. Responses were analysed using confidence levels to identify guessing and subsequently changes categorised the interventions as having one of four effects: A ?positive? one when responses indicated causal arguments used instead of earlier guessing or alternative ones; A ?no effect on a scientific concept? change when use of scientific causal arguments continued after interventions; A ?No effect on guessing or alterative ideas? category when PSTs continued to guess or use non-causal ideas in their responses. Finally a ?negative? change in responses was identified when scientific argument responses changed to become guesses or indicate alternative ideas were now used. 51% of response changes to all statements were positive. 20% indicated an unchanging scientific concept was used to respond. However 10% of response changes were negative. Five of six interviewee explanations indicated developing use or retention of scientific arguments compared with all six showing improved or retained use of scientific arguments via changes in the true/false statement responses. These findings indicate that the development of causal arguments to explain ionisation energies is supported by activities that model coulombs law with respect to interactions between electrons and electrons and the nucleus in the atom. As these interactions are also responsible for chemical behaviours, development of these scientific principles supports a deeper understanding of chemistry more generally.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Do visual models support development of scientific explanations of ionisation energy values?
Event: ESERA 2013 Conference
Location: Nicosia
ISBN-13: 9789963700776
Open access status: An open access publication
Publisher version: https://www.esera.org/publications/esera-conferenc...
Language: English
Keywords: Chemistry, Conceptual Understanding, Modeling-based Learning
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475358
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