Teaching of chemical bonding: a study of Swedish and South African students' conceptions of bonding
Journal article, 2016
Almost 700 Swedish and South African students from the upper secondary school and first-term chemistry university level responded to our survey on concepts of chemical bonding. The national secondary school curricula and most common textbooks for both countries were also surveyed and compared for their content on chemical bonding. Notable differences between the countries were found in textbooks and in the curriculum regarding the topics of ionic bonding, bond energetics and use of the VSEPR model, the latter being absent in the Swedish curriculum and ionic bonding not explicitly mentioned in the South African curriculum. To some extent these differences are reflected in the students' responses to the survey. It is also clear that university teachers in both countries must prepare effective counter-measures against deep rooted misunderstandings. For the upper secondary school level it is suggested that the bond energetics and exothermic and endothermic reactions be clearly and carefully presented and separated as the study indicates that mixing of these two concepts is a major cause of confusion.
learners mental models
Education & Educational Research