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The Problems of Science Textbook Contents Related to Element and Atom in the Viewpoint of Science History
The Problems of Science Textbook Contents Related to Element and Atom in the Viewpoint of Science History
Journal of the Korean Chemical Society. 2001. Aug, 45(4): 357-369
  • Published : August 00, 2001
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Paik, Seoung Hey
Ryu, Seoung Hey
Kim, Dong Uk
Park, Kuk Tae

Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the evolution of general ideas concerning the element and the atom. In the scientific viewpoint, the modern idea of the element has been variously revised by the ancient Greeks, Boyle-Lavoisier, and Dalton. The definition of the atom was confused with that of the element from the ancient Greecian era to Lavoisier's era. The definition was also changed by Dalton and Rutherford. An analysis of the definitions of element and atom as presented in science textbooks for secondary school students and in general chemistry textbooks revealed that these definitions from diverse eras are confusing and inadequately explicated. The definition presented in one textbook was contradictory to the definitions in other textbooks. This tendency has been sustained in the textbooks from the 4th to 6th science curriculum. Therefore, we need to clarify the definitions of element and atom in order to help the students gain a better understanding of these scientific concepts.