Pedagogical dilemmas

Pedagogical dilemmas will arise as they address decisions about instructional materials and approaches and what to emphasize in learning experiences that a chemical thinking perspective demands.


Some Examples:

  • As a teacher, I’m supposed to just tell the student if they got the right answer, right?!  
  • Should I give students credit when they have learned something even if they didn’t do it my way, which is the right way?  
  • How much time in class should be allotted to discuss what each student thinks?
  •  How do I teach Chemical Thinking and how they can incorporate a data and dialogue into their knowledge?  
  • If I open up the class to discussion, what if they ask me a question that I don’t know and can’t answer?  
  • It is so stressful to allow students to do the talking and lead discussions, aren’t I the teacher?  
  • They don’t want to figure it out, they’d rather have me tell them how to do it!!

What you might hear teachers say:

A question you might ask to encourage discussion about the dilemma:

It is so stressful to allow students to lead the discussion and ask questions -- that I might not know the answer to or  it might take up too much of our learning time.  

How can teachers prepare for student discourse? What questions could you plan to ask students that will guide the discussion to ensure that learning targets are met?

As long as students are active and doing hands-on activities, they are learning.

What are some ways we can check for understanding during or after labs or hands on investigations?

It takes so long for my students to discover and agree on the evidence, we only have so much time to spend on each concept

Can we share strategies or resources that support students as they construct explanations and collect evidence that support efficient time on learning? How can allowing time for productive struggle develop student’s confidence and agency?