Representational competence of secondary chemistry students in understanding selected chemical principles

Ryan V. LANSANGAN1, Antriman V. ORLEANS2, Vic Marie I. CAMACHO2
1University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
2Philippine Normal University, Manila, Philippines
Corresponding Author’s Email:


Assessing students’ understanding in the microscopic level of an abstract subject like chemistry poses a challenge to teachers. However, recent findings revealed that representations serve as essential avenues of measuring the extent of understanding in the disciplinal content as alternative to traditional assessment methods. Thus, this study explored the representational competencies of high school students in understanding selected chemical principles and correlated these with chemistry academic profile. The common misconceptions on the selected chemistry principles based on student’ representations and their understanding of the role of chemical representations in learning were studied. Utilizing the task instrument and a scoring guide, results revealed that most students have symbolic level representational competence in selected chemical principles. Alternative misrepresentations were most observed on the students’ representations in chemical bonding and in chemical equation. These misrepresentations paved the way for remediating concepts and skills in the particular topics. Furthermore, students’ academic achievement and their representational competence is significantly associated and students’ views in chemical representations questionnaire suggested their mental models. Moreover, students confirmed greater appreciation of the chemical representations as explanatory tools and approximates students’ chemistry academic learning profile.

Keywords: Chemical representations, Representational competence, Chemistry academic profile, Mixed methods, Manila Philippines


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