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Modeling Instruction in High School Chemistry


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An overview of the Modeling Method in Chemistry. This presentation was created by Larry Dukerich and Brenda Royce

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Modeling Instruction in High School Chemistry

  1. 1. Models and Modeling in the High SchoolChemistry Classroom Larry Dukerich Brenda Royce Dobson HS University HS Mesa, AZ Fresno, CA CRESMET Arizona State University 1
  2. 2. The Problem with TraditionalInstruction Presumes two kinds of knowledge:  Facts and ideas - things packaged into words and distributed to students.  Know-how - skills packaged as rules or procedures. Assumes students will see the underlying structure in the content. 2
  3. 3. “Teaching by Telling” is Ineffective Students…  Systematically miss the point of what we tell them.  do not have the same “schema” associated with key ideas/words that we have.  do not improve their problem-solving skills by watching the teacher solve problems 3
  4. 4. Algorithms vs Understanding What does it mean when students can solve stoichiometry problems, but cannot answer the following? Nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas react to form ammonia gas by the reaction =H N2 + 3 H2 → 2 NH3 =N The box at right shows a mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen molecules before the reaction begins. Which of the boxes below correctly shows what the reaction mixture would look like after the reaction was complete? A B C D 4
  5. 5. How Do You Know? All students know the formula for water is H2O. Very few are able to cite any evidence for why we believe this to be the case. 5
  6. 6. Do They Really Have anAtomic View of Matter? Before we investigate the inner workings of the atom, let’s first make sure they really believe in atoms.  Students can state the Law of Conservation of Mass, but then will claim that mass is “lost” in some reactions.  When asked to represent matter at sub- microscopic level, many sketch matter using a continuous model. 6
  7. 7. Representation of Matter Question: “What’s happening at the simplest level of matter?” 7
  8. 8. MoreStoryboards Gas Diffusion: Where’s The Air?Aqueous Diffusion: The Continuous Model of Matter
  9. 9. Where’s the Evidence? Why teach a model of the inner workings of the atom without examining any of the evidence?  Students “know” the atom has a nucleus surrounded by electrons, but cannot use this model to account for electrical interactions.  What’s gained by telling a Cliff’s Notes version of the story of how our current model of the atom evolved? 9
  10. 10. Instructional Objectives Construct and use scientific models to describe, to explain, to predict and to control physical phenomena. Model physical objects and processes using diagrammatic, graphical and algebraic representations. Recognize a small set of particle models as the content core of chemistry. Evaluate scientific models through comparison with empirical data. View modeling as the procedural core of scientific knowledge 10
  11. 11. What Do We Mean by Model? Symbolic Representations Verbal Algebraic Physical Mental System Model Diagrammatic Graphical Models are representations of structure in a physical system or process 11
  12. 12. Why Models? Models are basic units of knowledge  A few basic models are used again and again with only minor modifications. Models help students connect  Macroscopic observations  Microscopic representations  Symbolic representations 12
  13. 13. Why modeling?! To help students see science as a way of viewing the world rather than as a collection of facts. To make the coherence of scientific knowledge more evident to students by making it more explicit. Models and Systems are explicitly recognized as major unifying ideas for all the sciences by the AAAS Project 2061 for the reform of US science education. 13
  14. 14. Uncovering Chemistry Examine matter from outside-in instead of from inside-out  Observable Phenomena → Model  Students learn to trust scientific thinking, not just teacher/textbook authority  Organize content around a meaningful ‘Story of Matter’ 14
  15. 15. Particle Models of GraduallyIncreasing Complexity Begin with phenomena that can be accounted for by simple BB’s  Conservation of mass  Behavior of gases - KMT Recognize that particles DO attract one another  “Sticky BB’s” account for behavior of condensed phases 15
  16. 16. Models Evolve as Need Arises Develop model of atom that can acquire charge after you examine behavior of charged objects Atom with + core and mobile electrons should explain  Conductivity of solutions  Properties of ionic solids 16
  17. 17. Energy - Early and Often Make energy an integral part of the story line Help students develop a coherent picture of the role of energy in changes in matter  Energy storage modes within system  Transfer mechanisms between system and surroundings 17
  18. 18. Reconnect Eth and Ech Particles in system exchange Ek for Ech to rearrange atoms 181 kJ + N2 + O2 ––> 2 NO  Representation consistent with fact that an endothermic reaction absorbs energy, yet the system cools 18
  19. 19. How to Teach it? constructivist vs transmissionist cooperative inquiry vs lecture/demonstration student-centered vs teacher-centered active engagement vs passive reception student activity vs teacher demonstration student articulation vs teacher presentation lab-based vs textbook-based 19
  20. 20. Be the “Guide on the Side” Don’t be the dispenser of knowledge Help students develop tools to explain behavior of matter in a coherent way  Let the students do the talking  Ask, “How do you know that?”  Require particle diagrams when applicable 20
  21. 21. Preparing the Whiteboard 21
  22. 22. Making Presentation 22