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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 5 (2006) pp 355-363

Turkish Prospective Chemistry Teachers’ Misunderstandings of Enthalpy and Spontaneity

Mustafa Sozbilir†,* and Judith M Bennett

Ataturk University, Kazim Karabekir Education Faculty, Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education, 25240-Erzurum/TURKEY and The University of York, Department of Educational Studies, Heslington, York YO10 5DD UK,
Received March 17, 2005. Accepted July 15, 2006.

Published online: 1 October 2006

Abstract. This study is aimed at identifying and classifying Turkish prospective chemistry teachers’ misunderstandings of enthalpy and spontaneity. In order to fulfill this aim, open-ended diagnostic questions and semi-structured interviews were used after the topic was taught. Diagnostic questions were answered by forty-five students who took physical chemistry courses from two different chemistry education departments in two different universities in Turkey. Seven interviews were carried out just after the administration of the tests. Ten different misunderstandings were identified. Although some of the results of this study confirm the previous research findings, it goes beyond them by identifying new misunderstandings and suggests places where these misunderstandings may originate. The results have implications for tertiary-level teaching, suggesting that a substantial review of teaching strategies is needed.

Key Words: Research in Teaching and Learning; general chemistry; physical chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: October 1, 2006

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