Models of chemical bonding Representations Used in School Textbooks and by Teachers and their Relation to Students´Difficulties in Understanding

Detta är en avhandling från Karlstad : Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on how school textbooks and teachers present models of chemical bonding in upper secondary schools in Sweden. In science, as well as in science education, models play a central role, but research has shown that they often are difficult for students to understand. In science education, models are presented to students mainly through textbooks and teachers, and textbooks influence teachers’ teaching. The aim of this thesis was to investigate how textbooks and teachers present models of chemical bonding with respect to students’ difficulties in understanding.To analyze representations of models, an analytical framework based on research reports of students’ difficulties in understanding related to models in general and chemical bonding in particular was developed. The chapters of chemical bonding in five chemistry textbooks were analyzed. Further, ten Chemistry teachers’ lesson plans about chemical bonding and semi-structured interviews with the teachers concerning their teaching were analyzed.This analysis concerned teachers pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of teaching chemical bonding, with focus on knowledge of students’ difficulties in understanding and teaching strategies that take these difficulties into account. The results show that the teachers could specify examples of students’ learning difficulties, but the teaching strategies to promote the students’ understanding were limited. This indicates a deficient interaction between knowledge of difficulties in understanding and teaching strategies, two essential components of teachers’ PCK. Further, the models of chemical bonding represented in the textbooks and by the teachers might cause students’ difficulties in understanding. This indicates a gap between research of students’ difficulties in understanding and teaching practices as well as textbooks’ development. Further, the teachers’ representations of models were strongly influenced by the textbooks. Implications for textbooks’ authors, pre-service as well as in-service teachers are addressed.