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Developing chemical understanding in the explanatory vacuum: Swedish high school students' use of an anthropomorphic conceptual framework to make sense of chemical phenomena
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskap (FSV), Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap (UV).
2013 (engelsk)Inngår i: Concepts of Matter in Science Education / [ed] Tsaparlis, G & Sevilan, H, Springer, 2013, s. 347-370Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

The results presented here derive from a research project exploring 16-18 year old

Swedish upper secondary science students’ developing understandings of key

concepts for matter and phase change. In the Swedish educational context there is

limited prescription of what is taught at different grade levels, and students may only

meet scientific models of the submicroscopic structure of the matter some years after

considering the phenomena that these models have been developed to explain.

Students may develop alternative and sometimes idiosyncratic imaginative notions to

populate this ‘explanatory vacuum’. In this study we discuss one aspect of student

responses in a sequence of semi-structured interviews spread over a single school

year, viz. the common use of anthropomorphic language in student descriptions and

explanations of basic chemical phenomena – change of state, chemical bonding and

reactions. Such anthropomorphic language has been considered to have the potential

either to facilitate or impede progression in students’ learning in chemistry. In the

present study we found a high level of anthropomorphic language in students’

explanations. In some cases there were clear indications that our interviewees were

aware of the limitation of their anthropomorphic explanations, which could be

considered to take the role of temporary place-holder for technical ideas not yet

available. However, in many other instances anthropomorphism was used without any

indication of its limited explanatory power. In these circumstances anthropomorphic

explanations would appear to satisfy epistemic hunger, the human “need to ‘make

meaning’ and understand their surroundings” (De Jesus, Teixeira-Dias, & Watts,

2003, p. 1017), and take the place of canonical explanations.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Springer, 2013. s. 347-370
Serie
Innovations in Science Education and Technology, ISSN 1873-1058 ; 19
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Naturvetenskap, Naturvetenskap med utbildningsvetenskaplig inriktning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-17770DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5914-5_17ISBN: 9400759134 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-17770DiVA, id: diva2:505628
Tilgjengelig fra: 2012-02-24 Laget: 2012-02-24 Sist oppdatert: 2014-12-17bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Relationships between models used for teaching chemistry and those expressed by students
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Relationships between models used for teaching chemistry and those expressed by students
2012 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is focused upon chemistry as a school subject and students' interpretations and use of formally introduced teaching models. To explore students' developing repertoire of chemical models, a longitudinal interview study was undertaken spanning the first year of upper secondary school chemistry. Matter in its different states was selected as the target framework for this study. The results presented are derived from both generalisations of groups of students as well as a case study describing an individual learner's interpretation of formal content. The results obtained demonstrated that the formal teaching models provided to the students included in this study were not sufficient to afford them a coherent framework of matter in its different states or for chemical bonding. Instead, students' expressed models of matter and phase change were to a high degree dependent on electron movement (Paper I), anthropomorphism (Paper II) and, for one student, a mechanistic approach based on small particles and gravitation (Paper III). The results from this study place focus on the importance of learners' prior learning (previous experiences) and the need to develop a coherent framework of formal teaching models for the nature of matter and phase change.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Kalmar: Linnaeus university, 2012. s. 83
Serie
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 79/2012
Emneord
chemistry didactics, particulate nature of matter, phase transition, student expressed models, Swedish school, teaching models
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Naturvetenskap, Naturvetenskap med utbildningsvetenskaplig inriktning; Naturvetenskap, Naturvetenskap med utbildningsvetenskaplig inriktning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-17824 (URN)978-91-86983-36-9 (ISBN)
Disputas
2012-03-30, N2007, Västergård, Smålandsgatan 26A, Kalmar, 13:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2012-02-29 Laget: 2012-02-29 Sist oppdatert: 2018-05-18bibliografisk kontrollert

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