The Integration of Submicroscopic Representations Used in Chemistry Textbook Sets into Curriculum Topics

Špela Hrast, Vesna Ferk Savec


To support the understanding of chemistry concepts and processes at the particulate level, various representations are included in learning materials. This paper focuses on how submicroscopic representations (SMRs) are integrated into Slovenian chemistry textbook sets with respect to the curriculum topics for 8th and 9th Grade. Textbook set analysis is based on four holistic SMRs descriptors (direct, indirect, combined descriptor, and SMRs without descriptors), which support learners’ recognition of SMRs’ informational value at different levels by providing different accompanying SMRs add-ons. The textbook sets analysis revealed that the number of SMRs varies significantly with regard to different curriculum topics. The overall proportion of the descriptors that enable the learner a direct recognition of SMRs is low in all curriculum topics. Interestingly, the descriptors that do not enable the learners a direct recognition of SMRs prevail in textbook sets. To obtain more detailed insight into the criteria based on which the textbook authors integrate SMRs with various descriptors into textbook sets, further studies are necessary.


chemistry; curriculum; submicroscopic representations; textbook

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