Studentâ€™s Misconceptions on Chemical Bonding: A Comparative Study between High School and First Year University Students
Keywords:misconceptions, chemical bonding, secondary school, undergraduate level
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to investigate the students' understanding about some aspects of the chemical bond and to determine their related misconceptions. Concretely, topics such as the interpretation of some properties of substances (colour, boiling points, solubility and conductivity), intra and intermolecular forces, hydrogen bonding, covalent and molecular networks, geometry and polarity of molecules, are investigated. The research methodology used has been a questionnaire consisting on 15 multiple choice questions as a diagnostic tool. The questionnaire was applied to 79 high school students (17-18 years old) from six different secondary schools in Valencia (Spain) and 99 first-year undergraduate students of Chemistry and Pharmacy degrees at the University of Valencia (19-20 years old). In the light of the obtained results, the main misconceptions observed are: to attribute macroscopic properties to particles; incorrect prediction of boiling points; to perceive ionic compounds as being formed by molecules; misunderstanding the nature of the hydrogen bond and assuming that it is established in any molecule containing hydrogen together with nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine, regardless if the hydrogen atom is directly bonded to these atoms or not; confusing the geometry of a molecule with its distribution of electron pairs around the central atom; and, finally, a wrong prediction of the polarity of molecules. Suggestions that could be accommodated in normal classrooms, are made in order to improve learning.
Barker, V. and Millar, R. (2000). â€œStudentsÂ´ reasoning about basic chemical thermodynamics and chemical bonding: what changes occur during a context-based post-16 chemistry courseâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 22(11), pp. 1171-1200.
Birk, J.P. and Kurtz, M.J. (1999). â€œEffect of experience on retention and elimination of misconceptions about molecular structure and bondingâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 76(1), pp. 124-128.
Boo, H.K. (1998). â€œStudentsÂ´ understandings of chemical bonds and the energetics of chemical reactionsâ€, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(5), pp. 569-581.
Butts, B. and Smith, R. (1987). â€œHSC chemistry studentsÂ´ understanding of the structure and properties of molecular and ionic compoundsâ€. Research in Science Education, 17, pp. 192-201.
Coll, R.K. and Treagust, D.F. (2003). â€œInvestigation of secondary school, undergraduate and graduate learnersÂ´ mental models of ionic bondingâ€, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(5), pp. 464-486.
Cooper, M.M., Corley, M.L. and Underwood, S.M. (2013). â€œAn investigation of college chemistry studentsÂ´ understanding of structure-property relationshipsâ€, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(6), pp. 699-721.
FuriÃ³, C. and Calatayud, M.L. (1996). â€œDifficulties with geometry and polarity of molecules: beyond misconceptionsâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 73(1), 36-41.
FuriÃ³-MÃ¡s, C., Calatayud, M.L. and BÃ¡rcenas, S.L. (2007). â€œSurveying studentsÂ´ conceptual and procedural knowledge of acid-base behavior of substancesâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 84(10), pp. 1717-1724.
FuriÃ³, C. and Dominguez, M.C. (2007). â€œDeficiencias en la enseÃ±anza habitual de los conceptos macroscÃ³picos de sustancia y de cambio quÃmicoâ€. Revista de EducaciÃ³n en Ciencias, 8(2), pp. 84-91.
Johnson, P. (2000). â€œChildren's understanding of substances, part 1: recognizing chemical changeâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 22(7), pp. 719-737.
Johnson, P. (2002). â€œChildren's understanding of substances, part 2: explaining chemical changeâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 24(10), pp. 1037-1054.
Johnstone, A.H. (1982). Macro- and micro-chemistry. School Science Review, 64, 377-379.
Johnstone, A.H. (1993). â€œThe development of chemistry teaching: a changing response to changing demandâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 70(9), pp. 701-705.
Johnstone, A.H. (2000). â€œTeaching of chemistry- logical or psychological?â€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 1(1), pp. 9-15.
Kind, V. (2004). Beyond appearances: studentsÂ´misconceptions about basic chemical ideas, (2nd edition), School of Education, Durhan University.
Luxford, C.J. and Bretz, S.L. (2013). â€œMoving beyond definitions: what student-generated models reveal about their understanding of covalent bonding and ionic bondingâ€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 14(2), pp. 214-222.
Nahum, T.L., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Hofstein, A. and Krajcik, J. (2007). â€œDeveloping a new teaching approach for the chemical bonding concept aligned with current scientific and pedagogical knowledgeâ€, Science Education, 91(4), pp. 579-603.
Nahum, T.L., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Hofstein, A. and Taber, K.S. (2010). â€œTeaching and learning the concept of chemical bondingâ€, Studies in Science Education, 46(2), pp. 179-207.
Nakhleh, M.B. (1992). â€œWhy some students donÂ´t learn chemistry: chemical misconceptionsâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 69(3), pp. 191-196.
Nakhleh, M.B. (1994). â€œStudentsÂ´ models of matter in the context of acid-base chemistryâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 71(6), pp. 495-499.
Nicoll, G. (2001). â€œA report of undergraduatesÂ´ bonding misconceptionsâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 23(7), pp. 707-730.
Nicoll, G. (2003). â€œA qualitative investigation of undergraduate chemistry students' macroscopic interpretations of the submicroscopic structures of moleculesâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 80(2), pp. 205-213.
Nyachwaya, J.M. Mohamed, A.R., Roehrig, G.H., Wood, N.B., Kern, A.L. and Schneider, J.L. (2011). â€œThe development of an open-ended drawing tool: an alternative diagnostic tool for assessing students' understanding of the particulate nature of matterâ€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 12(2), pp. 121-132.
Othman, J., Treagust, D.F. and Chandrasegaran, A.L. (2008). â€œAn investigation into the relationship between students' conceptions of the particulate nature of matter and their understanding of chemical bondingâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 30(11), pp. 1531-1550.
Ã–zmen, H. (2004). â€œSome student misconceptions in Chemistry: a literature review of chemical bondingâ€, Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(2), pp. 147-159.
Peterson, R.F. and Treagust, D.F. (1989). â€œGrade-12 students' misconceptions of covalent bonding and structureâ€, Journal of Chemical Education, 66(6), pp. 459-460.
Peterson, R.F., Treagust, D.F. and Garnett, P. (1989). â€œDevelopment and application of a diagnostic instrument to evaluate grade-11 and -12 studentsÂ´ concepts of covalent bonding and structure following a course of instructionâ€, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 26(4), pp. 301-314.
Schmidt, H.J., Kaufmann, B. and Treagust, D. F. (2009). â€œStudents' understanding of boiling points and intermolecular forcesâ€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 10(4), pp. 265-272.
Smith, K.C. and Nakhleh, M.B. (2011). â€œUniversity students' conceptions of bonding in melting and dissolving phenomenaâ€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 12(4), pp. 398-408.
Taber, K. S. (1994). â€œMisunderstanding the ionic bondâ€, Education in Chemistry-London, 31(4), pp. 100âˆ’103.
Taber, K. S. (1997). â€œStudent understanding of ionic bonding: molecular versus electrostatic framework?â€, School Science Review, 78(285), pp. 85â€“95.
Taber, K.S. (2002). â€œChemical misconceptions: prevention, diagnosis and cure. Volume 1: Theoretical backgroundâ€. London: Royal Society of Chemistry, chapter 8, pp.125-139.
Taber, K.S. (2003). â€œMediating mental models of metals: acknowledging the priority of the learner's prior learningâ€, Science Education, 87(5), pp. 732-758.
Taber, K. S., Tsaparlis, G. and Nakiboglu, C. (2012). â€œStudent conceptions of ionic bonding: patterns of thinking across three European contextsâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 34(18), pp. 2843â€“2873.
Tan, K.C.D. and Treagust, D.F. (1999). â€œEvaluating studentsÂ´ understanding of chemical bondingâ€, School Science Review, 81(294), pp. 75-83.
Tarhan, L., Ayar-Kayali, H., Urek, R.O. and Acar, B. (2008). â€œProblemâ€“based learning in 9th grade chemistry class: Intermolecular Forcesâ€, Research in Science Education, 38(3), pp. 285-300.
Treagust, D. F. and Chandrasegaran, A. L. (2009). â€œThe efficacy of an alternative instructional programme designed to enhance secondary studentsâ€™ competence in the triplet relationshipâ€. In J.K. Gilbert & D.F. Treagust (Eds.), Multiple representations in chemical education. Springer Netherlands. (pp. 151-168).
Treagust, D.F., Chittleborough, G. and Mamiala, T. (2003). â€œThe role of submicroscopic and symbolic representations in chemical explanationsâ€, International Journal of Science Education, 25(11), pp. 1353-1368.
Ãœnal, S., Costu, B. and Ayas, A. (2010). â€œSecondary school studentsÂ´ Misconceptions of covalent bondingâ€, Journal of Turkish Science Education, 7(2), pp. 4-29.
Uyulgan, M.A., Akkuzu, N. and Alpat, S. (2014). â€œAssessing the students' understanding related to molecular geometry using a two-tier diagnostic testâ€, Journal of Baltic Science Education, 13(6), pp. 839-855.
Vladusic, R., Bucat, R.B. and Ozic, M. (2016). â€œUnderstanding ionic bonding- a scan across the Croatian education systemâ€, Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 17(4), pp. 685-699.
How to Cite
- Papers must be submitted on the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis) and are not currently under consideration by another journal published by any other publisher.
- It is also the authors responsibility to ensure that the articles emanating from a particular source are submitted with the necessary approval.
- The authors warrant that the paper is original and that he/she is the author of the paper, except for material that is clearly identified as to its original source, with permission notices from the copyright owners where required.
- The authors ensure that all the references carefully and they are accurate in the text as well as in the list of references (and vice versa).
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
- The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.