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Course Content and Problem-Solving

What are the typical issues or topics with which students have difficulty? How can students be taught to solve problems and think like a chemist?

Most students have developed alternate notions for ordinary, every day "chemistry" situations involving reactions, heat, temperature, phase changes, etc., based on their daily life experiences and previous schooling. These alternate frameworks come in two varieties: misconceptions about what actually happens, and alternative explanations of what happens.