Conceptual profile of chemistry: a framework for enriching thinking and action in chemistry education

Melquesedeque Freire, Vicente Talanquer, Edenia Amaral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Understanding the nature of chemical thinking and action, as well as their application and impact on our world should be central goals of chemistry education at all educational levels. However, traditional school chemistry is still mostly focused on having students learn the body of declarative knowledge built over the years in the discipline. Achieving changes in curriculum and teaching practices in this context remains a challenging task. Studies in the history and philosophy of the discipline suggest that chemistry has unique characteristics that need to be recognised and considered in chemistry education. Many of these studies point to a pluralism in the discipline, and in the understanding of and about chemistry, that should be characterised and incorporated into our educational models. In this essay, we have attempted to build such a characterisation using conceptual profiles theory to propose a framework that can be used to enrich and support the thinking and action of chemistry teachers at all educational levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-692
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 24 2019


  • Chemistry
  • chemistry education
  • nature of chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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