Secondary and higher secondary school chemistry teachers’ misconceptions of chemical bonding : Comparison across regions in Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Chemical bonding is a fundamentally important concept that makes a foundation for further studies in the discipline. Therefore, a better conceptual understanding of teachers can be considered a mediating factor for students' better understanding. This cross-sectional survey study aimed to explore secondary and higher secondary chemistry teachers' misconception of the selected concepts of chemical bonding (i.e., solubility and conductivity, bonding, lattices, intermolecular and intramolecular forces, and polarity and geometry). Chemical Bonding Diagnostic Tool (CBDT) was adapted and found to be reliable for the sample of this study (α = 0.84). CBDT was administered online to 124 secondary and higher secondary school chemistry teachers of GB (n = 58) and Karachi (n= 66) of Pakistan. The findings of this study indicated that, regardless of region, Chemistry Teachers (CTs) hold various misconceptions in all five areas of CBDT. The overwhelming misconceptions of CTs in five constructs of CBDT revealed that they: (i) generalized the metal conductivity model to ionic compounds, (ii) confused the concept of ionic and covalent bonds/ bonding, (iii) mixed up covalent and molecular lattices, (iv) found difficulty in differentiating 'inter' and 'intra,' and (v) muddled with the concept of polarity and geometry. The study concludes that participant CTs were found to have similar misconceptions as held by students of grade 9 to 12 in different contexts of the world. This provides significant insight into the existing patterns of misconceptions of CTs for policy, practice, and further research. Keeping the findings in view, it could be suggested that teacher education institutions may need to reflect on existing patterns of misconception and develop professional content development programs for science teachers. The results of this study would make an essential contribution to indigenous literature.

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