Improving Students’ Mathematical Reasoning with Modeling Instruction

In chemistry, mathematical tools are used to create quantitative models of the behavior and structure of matter. Chemists view these relationships as information about a phenomenon. Yet, students in our classes tend to view these mathematical expressions simply as a computational means for “getting answers”. One of the challenges of teaching chemistry is simultaneously developing the proportional reasoning of our students as they tackle new ideas about matter. So, how do we get students to authentically reason about the quantitative relationships in matter that we would like them to understand?
In this workshop we will look at ways we can help students develop a conceptual framework for proportional reasoning, and tie this framework to the various representations (graphical, diagrammatic, verbal, mathematical) used to express models of chemical phenomena.

High School
Undergraduate Education
Curriculum and Cognition
Cross-cutting Thread(s):
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect