Atomic Ontology in the Chemistry Curriculum and Implications for Optimizing Chemical Atomism in Teacher Education in Ethiopia
This study is aimed at examining how the atom is ontologically presented in the curricular documents of teacher education in accordance with the persistence of the oldest notion of the atom and its corresponding ontological deviation. It involved content analysis of three curriculum frameworks and four modules through the interpretative coding approach of Merriam’s qualitative case study. Accordingly, the curriculum was found to portray the outdated mechanical ontology as much as it endorses the targeted operational ontology. Even the operational ontology was found to controversially exhibit the mereological, functional and desired chemical notions. Though the narrative is more accurate in figurations of observable properties and phenomena, it is extremely problematic in its style and argumentation. Most of the arguments lack a solid foundation and the essential connections to the desired data, evidence, and contexts of those historical, philosophical, and scientific inquiries. This implies that issues of having an ontological basis, choice of words, and aligning corresponding components of argumentation with historical, philosophical, and scientific evidence and contexts must all be taken seriously for the curriculum to portray the targeted ontology and notion of chemical atomism.
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