This paper portrays the way some higher education learners perceive the concept of chemical stability. It assesses the nature and possible origins of these conceptions. One hundred and thirty-eight teacher trainees in a teaching university, who were purposely selected, participated in this case study. These teacher trainees had exhibited persistent inabilities in deciphering between stable and reactive species in a periodic chemistry course. Instruments used in gathering data were worksheets and focus group discussions, which were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Records of the discussions were transcribed after thematic descriptions. It was found that more than half the trainees’ concepts of a full shell and increased nuclear charge connoting stability were the genesis for their observed alternative conceptions about chemical stability. These findings will contribute and add to existing knowledge among the science learning community. Further remediation was recommended to enable the trainees to form proper mental models of the concept of chemical stability and its application through innovative teaching.

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2018

  • Date of Conference: 25-28 June, 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/CICE.2018.0020
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-908320-90-2
  • Conference Location: University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada