Dexter C. Necor
Abstract: Electron configuration is a mnemonic scheme that leads to a deeper understanding of the arrangement of a modern periodic table of elements: the group (family) and period. It also shows valence electron and valence shell; magnetism and pairing of an electron. This study was conducted to determine the level of conceptual understanding of the electron configuration. Conceptual understanding held by the students was based on an open-ended question. The research was carried out with the participation by Grade 9 students. Level of responses, frequencies, and percentage of conceptions held by the students was transcribed and analyzed. Descriptive research was used consisting of one group sample. Results revealed that about 14 (40 %) of the students had a full understanding of 4d6; about 18 (51.43 %) for determining the magnetism of an element; about 14 (40 %) in the electron configuration of cation (Fe2+) and 30 (85.71 %) in an anion (O2-) ; about 31 (88.57 %) in the number of paired electron and about 30 (85.71 %) in determining the group (family) and period of an element. The students have many misconceptions statements on the electron configuration. This is prevalent on the definition of 4d6. Additionally, students cannot even show the exact electron configuration from ground state to its ion form of an atom. Lastly, students have difficulty in distinguishing the group (or family) and period given only the atomic number. Ergo, various misconceptions in electron configuration were held by the students. It recommended that varied enrichment activities should be given emphasis to minimize or to address misconceptions.
Keywords: conceptual understanding, misconceptions, electron configuration