Students misconceptions on chemical equilibrium and their consequences to biochemistry learning

E. Montagna, G. A. Marson, B.B. Torres

Resumo


It is well documented that misconceptions onchemical equilibrium (CE) are widespread among students in  higher education. Nevertheless CE concept is critical for biochemistry topics development such as buffer solutions, enzymekinetics, allosteric enzymes, metabolic networks, among others. In the present work weperformed tests in order to diagnose howstudents use the concepts of CE acquired inother courses. We tested high school andundergraduate students from two courses intwo institutions, in four moments of their course: a. freshmen; b. after basic general chemistry courses; c. along the biochemistrycourse and d. after physical chemistry courses. The tests dealt with: 1. tasks containing current terms, keywords and concepts about CE; 2. tests that exclusively use symbolic representations of CE and 3. application of elementary concepts of CE in biochemistry. The resultsshow that among thestudents: 1. more than 95% correctly answer questions of group1; 2. more than 50% fail in questions of group 2, and; 3. morethan 50% fail in questions of the group 3. We conclude that students solve tests  on CE without really understand the concepts involved; consequently studentsare unable to work CE concepts without mathematical tools or conventional formulas.Finally, the results show that students are restricted to use CE concept only in the context in which it was learned and this certainly impairs the significant learning of the forthcoming biochemical contents.

Palavras-chave


chemical equilibrium, misconceptions, interdisciplinary.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.16923/reb.v9i2.229

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