Why the covalent bond is such a complex concept: a conceptual profile proposal

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The learning process of scientific concepts has been investigated and discussed in several studies in recent decades. However, the understanding of this process may be different depending on the psycho-pedagogical approach adopted. From the perspective of the conceptual profile, the same concept can present more than one mode of thinking and way of speaking, which can then be organised into different zones. In this study, we report a conceptual profile of the covalent bond, which contemplates epistemological and ontological commitments. To this end, we conducted a narrative review of the historical development of the concept, as well as a systematic review of the misconceptions of chemical bond reported in the literature, and applied a questionnaire to a higher education class in Chemistry. The results were compiled in the form of a semantic matrix with nineteen meanings, which was then transformed into four zones: indiscriminate connectivity, stabilising attractiveness, localised remnant, and systematic delocalisation. The proposal contributes to the discussion of the approaches that explain the content under study, specifically in the teaching of chemistry, by considering its polysemy and evolution in the students’ learning. Additionally, it allows the future planning of teaching units and textual analyses.



Chemistry, epistemology, science teaching

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International Journal of Science Education, v. 43, n. 12, p. 2007-2024, 2021.