Key topics for quantum mechanics at secondary schools: A Delphi study into expert opinions

K. Krijtenburg-Lewerissa (Corresponding Author), H.J. Pol, A. Brinkman, W.R. van Joolingen

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This article describes a Delphi study aiming to investigate which quantum mechanics topics experts consider to be important to teach at the secondary level, and what arguments these experts give. A series of three questionnaires was administered to experts in the fields of quantum physics, mathematics, chemistry and biophysics (n = 17, 12, 11 for the first, second, and third questionnaires, respectively; the number of participants changed due to attrition). Several experts from this group (n = 9) were also interviewed. Results show that there is consensus on the topics considered to be important, i.e. duality, wave functions and atoms. Experts mainly based their topic ranking on relations between concepts, and on what quantum mechanics topics they consider to be fundamental. The topics that were considered less important were often described as too difficult or too complex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-366
Number of pages18
JournalInternational journal of science education
Issue number3
Early online date1 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


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