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The development of theoretical frameworks for understanding the learning of chemistry

Chittleborough, Gail 2014, The development of theoretical frameworks for understanding the learning of chemistry. In Devetak, Iztok and Glažar, Saša A. (ed), Learning with Understanding in the chemistry classroom, Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp.25-40.

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Title The development of theoretical frameworks for understanding the learning of chemistry
Author(s) Chittleborough, GailORCID iD for Chittleborough, Gail
Title of book Learning with Understanding in the chemistry classroom
Editor(s) Devetak, Iztok
Glažar, Saša A.
Publication date 2014
Chapter number 2
Total chapters 18
Start page 25
End page 40
Total pages 16
Publisher Springer
Place of Publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Keyword(s) Chemistry
Chemical epistemology
Micro and sub-micro levels of representations
Teaching and learning chemistry
Summary Chemistry has unique characteristics that make it a difficult subject to understand including the abstract concepts, the three levels of representation of matter – the macroscopic level, the sub-microscopic level and the symbolic level, and the complexities concerning the representational and theoretical qualities and the reality of each level. Drawing on data from a study with first year university students learning introductory chemistry, this chapter looks at how these students’ understandings of the characteristics of chemistry influence the way they understand and learn chemistry. Two theoretical frameworks to describe how chemical concepts can be presented and understood are developed based on the research data: the expanding triangle and the rising iceberg. The aim of the frameworks are to further develop the ways of thinking about how students learn chemistry thereby developing a chemical epistemology – that is, an understanding of the knowledge of how chemical ideas are built and an understanding of the way of knowing about chemical processes. These two frameworks are proposed as useful tools for chemistry educators to better understand students learning, linking chemical education research to practice so as to inform pedagogical content knowledge. Chemical education research can be theoretical and is sometimes criticised for not impacting on teachers practice, so the pedagogy of chemistry teachers is discussed with the aim of exploring ways the two frameworks can be useful in developing teachers’ professional understandings of learning and teaching chemistry to promote changes in their practice and support student understandings.
ISBN 9400743661
Language eng
Field of Research 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Socio Economic Objective 930201 Pedagogy
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2014, Springer
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Created: Tue, 11 Feb 2014, 13:30:34 EST by Gail Chittleborough

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