Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 19, Issue 1, Article 9 (Jun., 2018)
Sunyono SUNYONO and Sudjarwo SUDJARWO
Mental models of atomic structure concepts of 11th grade chemistry students

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Based on these results be can be concluded that (1) Based on these results we can say that (1) The majority of high school students still have an understanding of chemistry at the macro level, the ability of reasoning is only able to produce a very simple mental model that is still in the low category. Lack the ability to reason, to represent and interpret the phenomenon of sub-microscopic concepts of atomic structure can blunt of the power of students’ mental models in understanding chemical phenomena become less well established. (2) Students who are in the company's industrial/agro-industry generally have a mental model of verbal and visual in category intermediates_3 and the target. While students in a farming environment and students who were in the neighborhood of employees and vendors has a mental model that is dominated by the verbal model to the category of "very bad" and "bad" or characteristics of mental models "unformed" and "intermediate_1". It is very difficult to produce a mental model "target" or "very good". (3) Students who do not use their creative imagination to the fullest ability, they will have difficulty in interpreting the phenomenon of chemistry students to develop a mental model. This is due to among others: (a) identifying external representations (verbal and visual) about the position of electrons, protons, and neutrons in an atom according to each model of the atom (particle models, core models, and wave mechanics). (b) transforming the sub-microscopic representation (visual) to verbal and symbolic or vice versa. It shows that the students have a poor ability to do creative imagination to construct their mental models. (c) the imagination of the students has not focused properly, the ability to draw and describe the phenomena of atomic structure deviates from the supposed image. This causes the student's ability to comprehend visual images (sub-microscopic level) becomes lower, consequently to achieve mental models with the category of "target" becomes difficult. Therefore, there should be an effort to cultivate a mental model "intermediate" or a mental model of "hybrid", i.e. mental models that can foster the ability to think to bridge the conflict between conceptual knowledge with visual images at the sub-microscopic level.


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