This paper is a report of an action research which attempts to detect and correct various misconceptions in chemical bonding retained by some pre-service chemistry teachers who were in their third and fourth year in the university. At systematic and elaborate instructional sessions, questioning approach, micro teaching, and structured essay test were employed to detect misconceptions while concept mapping blended with cooperative learning was used to correct the identified misconceptions. 64 pre-service chemistry teachers (which have gone on teaching practice in some Nigerian secondary schools) from a state university participated in the study. Similar chemical concepts were identified by over 90% of the pre-service teachers as topics often being regarded as both difficult to understand by learners and teach by graduate teachers but sources of misconceptions were highlighted in only one major concept among those listed, namely; chemical bonding. The study revealed a high level of varied chemical misconceptions among the pre-service teachers which did not alter significantly through their four years of training. However, during groups’ interaction and with the aid of concept maps, some of the misconceptions were removed as they were enabled to apply their knowledge of concepts and their interrelations, as well as formulate appropriate theoretical explanations for the observed changes they viewed.
Key words: Misconceptions, prospective teachers, concept maps, difficult chemical concepts.
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