Conceptual dilemmas

Conceptual dilemmas will occur as teachers confront the philosophical, psychological, and epistemological assumptions that differ between a traditional conceptualization of chemistry learning and chemical thinking. Teachers are asked to organize instruction around the Chemical Thinking Framework instead of a topic based approach.

Some Examples:
Teachers using the Chemical Thinking Framework have a difficult time correlating it to the usual topics and units normally taught in our classes.  

  • Is having students construct this knowledge viable, when atomic level particles behave so differently from macroscopic observations?  
  • As long as students are active and doing hands-on activities, they are learning.
  • My students are engaged and really want to talk about observations with peers and come up with true knowledge.
  • I know a lot of Chemistry, and therefore can design classes that allow students to observe, discuss and make decisions about the truth of matter and the changes that they undergo.
  •  I trust students to be focused and interested enough to discuss observations and data.
  •  I don’t think students know the correct way to demonstrate how they understand the abstract concepts in Chemistry.
  • If I tell students when they are wrong, they can change the way they think and come up with the right answer.