Importance of Understanding Fundamental Chemical Mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The ability to build arguments and explanations based on scientific models is emphasized in current educational standards as a central science practice that students should develop in their science classes. In chemistry, it is expected that students will be able to apply their understanding in the construction of mechanistic explanations using submicroscopic models of matter. The main goal of this contribution is to highlight and characterize a set of fundamental chemical mechanisms that enable professionals in different fields to build rationales about the properties and behaviors of chemical entities across a wide variety of systems and processes. Thus, they represent the types of understandings to which chemistry educators should aspire for their students to develop and transfer to other domains. These fundamental mechanisms define ways of reasoning that students should master and chemistry instructors must give priority to in their instructional and assessment efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1911
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2018


  • Analogies/Transfer
  • Curriculum
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Student-Centered Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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