Using metavisualization to revise an explanatory model regarding a chemical reaction between ions
The objective of this work was to evaluate the implementation of a metavisual strategy for students to revise and self-regulate concepts arising in a study of a chemical reaction between ions. For this purpose, two chemistry education undergraduate students at a Brazilian public university carried out an investigative activity, involving metavisual steps, to revise explanatory models at the submicro level. Students were given a problem, namely a reaction between ions drawn from a real-life situation and were provided with clay to construct an explanatory model of the submicro level for the initial and final stages of the reaction. The students were asked to compare their clay model with an example of a scientifically correct figure of the submicro level of the reaction generated by the researchers. At this stage students were given the option to reconstruct their model. Data were captured via photographs of the clay models and students’ verbal discussions as they proceeded through the activity. The findings reveal evidence of self-regulation of mental models at the submicro level, from the interaction of prior knowledge, chemical diagrams and discussions and reflections by the pair of students. Difficulties regarding chemical formulae were also observed in relation to the symbolic level. Finally, there are implications for teaching chemistry, since teachers in training need to experience metavisual strategies for future application in their classrooms.