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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume x Issue x (2006) pp 247-250

Confronting Misconceptions: The Importance of Reversible Chemical Reactions to Understand Chemical Change

Stephen DeMeo

Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Chemistry, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10021,
Received April 7, 2005. Accepted March 10, 2006.

Published online: 25 July 2006

Abstract. According to teachers and educational researchers, there are some key misconceptions surrounding the concept of chemical change. Investigations of these misconceptions have led researchers to recommend that students perform reversible reactions in order to construct scientifically correct knowledge. One such pair of reactions is the synthesis of zinc iodide from zinc and iodine and the electrolysis of zinc iodide into zinc metal and aqueous iodine. A multiple-choice survey based on the misconception research indicates that approximately 90% of the students using these reactions in an introductory college laboratory course chose correct, scientifically sound responses. The reversible reactions involving zinc iodide are available either as supporting material or on the Internet.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; chemical change; reversible reactions; zinc iodide

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (323 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The zinc iodide Web material and the questionaire for the zinc iodide activity is available in a Zip file (96 MB).

Issue date: August 1, 2006

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