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Title: Exploring learners' conceptual resources: Singapore A level students' explanations in the topic of ionisation energy
Authors: Taber, Keith S.
Tan, Daniel Kim-Chwee
Keywords: Conceptual resources
Diagnostic assessment
Ionisation energy
Two-tier multiple-choice test
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Taber, K. S., & Tan, K. C. D. (2007). Exploring learners’ conceptual resources: Singapore A level students’ explanations in the topic of ionisation energy. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 5(3), 375-392.
Abstract: This paper describes findings from a study to explore Singapore A-level (Grade 11 and 12, 16 to 19 years old) students’ understanding of ionisation energy, an abstract and complex topic that features in school chemistry courses. Previous research had reported that students in the United Kingdom commonly used alternative notions based on the perceived stability of full shells and the ‘sharing out’ of nuclear force, but that such ideas tended to be applied inconsistently. This paper describes results from the administration of a two-tier multiple-choice instrument, the Ionisation Energy Diagnostic Instrument, to find (1) whether A-level students in Singapore have similar ways of thinking about the factors influencing ionisation energy as reported from their A-level counterparts in the UK; (2) how Singapore A-level students explain the trend of ionisation energy across different elements in Period 3. The results indicate that students in Singapore use the same alternative ideas as those in the UK, and also a related alternative notion. The study also demonstrated considerable inconsistency in the way students responded to related items. The potential significance of the findings to student understanding of complex topics across the sciences is considered.
ISSN: 1573-1774
Other Identifiers: 10.1007/s10763-006-9044-9
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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