What ideas do students have about electronegativity?

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Episode 104: Quilted University of Maryland

Research suggests that students have many productive ideas about electrostatic charge, and with appropriate support can build a sophisticated model. What ideas do students have about electronegativity?

July 3, 2018

Pedagogy Content
Attending to student ideas
Physics Content

Lesson Contents (3 MB)Student Handout
Transcript, discussion questions, and problem

(1 MB)Specific Lesson Guide
Facilitator's guide for this lesson

(1 MB)General Facilitator's Guide
Background and best practices

(110 MB)Video
Captioned video


Sample Discussion Prompts

  1. Caleb asks, “Is there a rule, that like dictates which way the charge is going to go?” Are they looking for a guiding principle or avoiding trying to make sense of the situation? Something else?

  2. Do you think Caleb is joking when he first says that the cloth “looks like it can hold electrons” (line 15)? Why or why not?

  3. Caleb’s remark that the cloth “looks like it can hold electrons” turns into a joke. Is this productive for the group, or does it push them off-task?

  4. Do you think that the students’ idea that electrons “stick” or “slide off” is a useful one? How does it compare to an expert explanation?

  5. What student ideas about electronegativity are indicated in this episode?

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