Developing a New TeachingApproach for the ChemicalBonding Concept AlignedWith Current Scientificand Pedagogical KnowledgeTAMI LEVY NAHUM, RACHEL MAMLOK-NAAMAN, AVI HOFSTEINDepartment of Science Teaching, The Weizmann Institute of Science,Rehovot 76100, IsraelJOSEPH KRAJCIKSchool of Education, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USAReceived 16 July 2006; revised 11 December 2006, 22 December 2006;accepted 22 December 2006DOI 10.1002/sce.20201Published online 30 January 2007 in Wiley InterScience ().ABSTRACT: The traditional pedagogical approach for teaching chemical bonding is oftenoverly simplistic and not aligned with the most up-to-date scientific models. As a result,high-school students around the world lack fundamental understanding of chemical bonding. In order to improve students’ understanding of this concept, it was essential to proposea systemic treatment, namely, revising the scientific content, the pedagogical approach, andthe assessment methods regarding this concept. Therefore, the main goal of this study wasto build a conceptual framework that provides an advanced scientific and pedagogical foundation regarding the chemical bonding concept—one that will guide chemistry curriculumdevelopers as well. A conceptual framework for a new teaching approach was constructedwith lead-chemistry teachers, science (chemistry) educators, and research chemists.Wesuggest that chemical bonding should be taught based on elemental principles and byusingthe idea of a continuum of bond strengths. Our process includes the formulation of learninggoals aligned with current scientific knowledge. Moreover, we suggest that constructingassessment tasks on carefully specified learning goals, which are described in terms oflearning performances, may enable educators to foster and examine much deeper levels ofC 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 91:579 – 603, 2007students’ understanding. #Correspondence to: Tami Levy Nahum; e-mail: [email protected]Joseph Krajcik collaborated on this work while on sabbatical at the Department of Science Teaching,The Weizmann Institute of Science as the Weston visiting professor.#C2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
580LEVY NAHUM ET AL.INTRODUCTION: A PROBLEMATIC CONCEPT AREAOne of the goals of the chemistry-teaching community is to develop more effective andscientifically aligned strategies to teach high-school students the key concept of chemicalbonding. According to Teichert and Stacy (2002), this attempt is motivated by many studiesconducted worldwide that revealed that the traditional approach of teaching bondingisproblematic. More specifically, during the last two decades, researchers have foundthatstudents lack a deep conceptual understanding of the key concepts regarding the bondingconcept and fail to integrate their mental models into a coherent conceptual framework(Bodner & Domin, 1998; Griffiths & Preston 1992; Herron, 1996; Peterson & Treagust,1989; Taber 2001).