Students’ Ideas about How and Why Chemical Reactions Happen: Mapping the conceptual landscape

  • Yan F
  • Talanquer V
  • 43


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 5


    Citations of this article.


Research in science education has revealed that many students struggle to understand chemical reactions. Improving teaching and learning about chemical processes demands that we develop a clearer understanding of student reasoning in this area and of how this reasoning evolves with training in the domain. Thus, we have carried out a qualitative study to explore students reasoning about chemical causality and mechanism. Study participants included individuals at different educational levels, from college to graduate school. We identified diverse conceptual modes expressed by students when engaged in the analysis of different types of reactions. Main findings indicate that student reasoning about chemical reactions is influenced by the nature of the process. More advanced students tended to express conceptual modes that were more normative and had more explanatory power, but major conceptual difficulties persisted in their reasoning. The results of our study are relevant to educators interested in conceptua...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Chemistry education
  • Conceptual development
  • Qualitative research

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Fan Yan

  • Vicente Talanquer

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free