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Students' Explanations of Chemical Phenomena: macro and micro differences

Reynolds, Y; Brosnan, T; (2001) Students' Explanations of Chemical Phenomena: macro and micro differences. Research in Science and Technological Education , 19 (1) pp. 69-78. Green open access

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Abstract

This study investigated patterns of students? science thinking across four different science phenomena, focusing on changes with age and science education. British secondary school students in three age-groups were offered sentences appearing on a computer screen that gave different explanations for four common changes in materials: ice melting, sugar dissolving in water, a candle burning and an iron nail rusting. The students were asked whether the sentences 'made sense' to them. The sentences, composed of fixed terms, were designed to embody good science explanations, common misconceptions, and basic descriptive and causal categories relating to the physical world. They were generated from a systemic network of explanation types. Results enabled new distinctions to be made between students? ideas at substance, molecular and atomic level according to their length of time in science education. Implications regarding the age at which students are introduced to atomic theory are considered.

Type: Article
Title: Students' Explanations of Chemical Phenomena: macro and micro differences
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1548261
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