Commonsense chemistry: A model for understanding students' alternative conceptions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations


A discussion of the results of a research project guided by the assumption that a common explanatory framework does exist and it can be described by analyzing the research literature on alternative conceptions in chemistry is presented. The goal of this research project is to build a model of a typical "naive" student in an introductory chemistry classroom in a Western society. The intention is to develop a useful framework that chemistry teachers and instructors can use to better understand and even predict many of their students' ideas, and implement instructional strategies that promote learning and understanding. A description on the theoretical and empirical work guiding the analysis of students' conceptions about chemical substances and phenomena, and the development of the proposed explanatory framework is described. Lastly, this work utilizes well-established results in chemical education research to develop tools and models that can help improve teacher thinking and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-816
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

Cite this