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Chapter 10

Argumentation in Organic Chemistry Education

This chapter firstly presents some of the findings from the other studies to better understand the difficulties that college students encountered in learning organic chemistry. Secondly, it presents studies on argumentation in organic chemistry education. Research on argumentation in the context of some specific science topics, like organic chemistry, is rather scarce. One possible reason of this tendency could be the fact that promoting students’ argumentation about organic chemistry topics seems much more difficult than the other chemistry topics, so that researchers usually prefer to use other methods besides argumentation to promote students’ understanding about organic chemistry concepts. Also, for teachers and students, it may appear that there is not much to debate in organic chemistry and so organic chemistry topics are conventionally based on memorization. Thirdly, example activities to support the incorporation of argumentation in organic chemistry lessons will also be presented. Unlike regular organic chemistry activities, these activities are not only aimed at helping students understand organic chemistry concepts, but also to develop their ability to reason with evidence and justifications. Finally, the effects of the incorporation of argumentation into the organic chemistry classroom on transforming organic chemistry education and my own reflections as a teacher educator are discussed.

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15 Feb 2019
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