A Review of Chemical Bonding Studies: Needs, Aims, Methods of Exploring Students’ Conceptions, General Knowledge Claims, and Students’ Alternative Conceptions

ÜNAL S. , ÇALIK M. , Ayas A., Coll R.

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION, vol.24, no.2, pp.141-172, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-172


The present paper presents a detailed thematic review of chemical bonding studies. To achieve
this, a matrix is developed to summarize and present the findings by focusing on insights derived
from the related studies. The matrix incorporates the following themes: needs, aims, methods of
exploring students’ conceptions, general knowledge claims, students’ alternative conceptions,
implications and recommendations for teaching and learning, implications for curriculum development and suggestions for future research. The general knowledge claims investigated in this paper are: (a) student alternative conceptions and level of education; (b) studies of student understanding of covalent bonding; (c) studies of student understanding of ionic bonding; (d) studies of student understanding of metallic bonding; (e) studies of student understanding of intermolecular forces; (f) studies of student understanding of chemical bonds, energetics and other underlying theories; (g) student use of anthropomorphic language and analogies; (h) students’ mental models for chemical bonding; and (i) enhancing students’ conceptual understanding.