Energy is a pervasive concept in science that is used extensively in chemistry, biology, and physics to explain many observed phenomena. The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, National Science Education Standards. National Committee for Science Education Standards and Assessment. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1996.), Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS 1993), and more recently, the Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. National Committee for Science Education Standards and Assessment. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2011) acknowledge the central role energy plays in science and describe what students should know about energy across the grade levels and across both the physical and life sciences. This paper describes results of interviews of high school students learning about energy as it relates to chemistry. The analysis of these interviews provides a foundation for reformulation of instruction of energy concepts in high school chemistry classes. Specific suggestions for reformulation are offered that address the misunderstandings articulated by students during the interviews. In addition, an overview of the unit on energy in the Living by Chemistry curriculum (Stacy AM, Coonrod J, Claesgens J. High school chemistry student textbook. In Malek L, Dowling J (eds) Living by chemistry, 1st edn. Bedford, Freeman & Worth, 2010a; Teachers guide, unit 5: Fire. In Malek L, Dowling J (eds) Living by chemistry, 1st edn. Bedford, Freeman & Worth, 2010b) is provided as an example of how the reformulation suggestions might be implemented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)