Over four years ago, Especially JCE made its debut as a monthly feature on ChemEd X. It was more of a return than a debut, although on a different platform. As explained in JCE's "Especially" Returns, it was a new venue for the past JCE print feature Especially for High School Teachers, but with a wider range. Each monthly post has highlighted one or more JCE articles of potential interest to the ChemEd X community. For example, the first Especially JCE discussed several "Chemistry Colors Our World" pieces published for National Chemistry Week in the October 2015 issue. This post brings me to the last of my series of Especially sharing, but not to the end of Especially JCE. I pass the torch on to the capable hands of a past colleague, Laura Slocum, who was previously a precollege editor for JCE with me. I look forward to seeing her take on each issue and seeing where it might then take me in my teaching and own learning.
Each of these posts is really a learning experience for me. The December 2019 issue on systems thinking brought that sharply back in focus, when I saw the title of the special issue "Reimagining Chemistry Education: Systems Thinking, and Green and Sustainable Chemistry" and first browsed through the table of contents. I wouldn't have been able to provide a good summary of what the phrase meant or how it could play a role in my classroom. As such, my first stop was Introduction to Systems Thinking for the Chemistry Education Community. It's available to non-subscribers, since it's an ACS Editors' Choice article. Even if you're already familiar with the idea of systems thinking, I encourage you to take a look. It gave me the initial background I needed, but then provided me concrete examples of how it could actually be applied in a chemistry classroom. One focused on a demonstration you may already use: "the exothermic dimerization of the reddish-brown gas NO2 to the colorless gas N2O4."
A new issue is always a reminder to me. I teach, but there's always something new for me to learn.
More from the December 2019 Issue
Think of this month's special issue as an "inaugural global reference point." Mary Saecker mentions the thinking behind it in her JCE 96.12 December 2019 Issue Highlights. You can also jump from links in her post to three other special issues from past years. She shares the call for papers to the next special issue, which focuses on chemical safety education. Have something to share from your classroom on this topic? Please submit it!