The investigation of student understanding of atomic structure and bonding
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science Eduaction
This purpose of this research project was to determine if there were misconceptions about atomic structure and bonding among Form 6 chemistry students. A questionnaire was given to 110 students from six classes in four Christchurch schools and uncovered several misconceptions. Students whose answers indicated specific areas of confusion were chosen to be interviewed. At least three students per class, twenty students in all, were interviewed within two weeks of the questionnaire and again at the end of the year. The interviews provided details of their misconceptions and in some cases revealed the cause. Teachers of the six classes used in the research were interviewed for their insight into the cause of the misconceptions and possible means of avoiding them. The discussion analyses the research techniques and compares the performances of the six classes. The possible causes of the misconceptions are discussed. The summary includes some suggestions for teaching strategies to help prevent these misconceptions from forming.