JCE’s “Especially” Returns

Does the phrase “Especially for High School Teachers” ring a bell? Journal of Chemical Education readers may remember this feature from past issues. Could it be time for its return, with a twist?

“Especially” was a monthly column penned by JCE’s high school (eventually transitioning to the term “precollege”) editors. Placed near the front of an issue with the main editorial, it was a snapshot of that particular month’s articles, through the lens of someone associated with high school education. Since the column’s beginning in 1996, authors included Emory Howell, Diana Mason, Laura Slocum, and myself. Its main purpose was to highlight articles that we thought would be of interest to high school educators, even articles not specifically aimed at the high school level. It was also a place to mention news such as upcoming conferences, recent award winners, etc., and in general, to share our views of chemical education and life.

As two examples of the column, my editorial tenure in JCE’s high school office was bookended by an inaugural Especially (see page 9) shared with Diana Mason and my final column, Enjoying the Ride, in late 2011. Since then, regular Especially columns highlighting specific articles have not appeared in the issue or elsewhere online. Current precollege editors Deanna Cullen and Greg Rushton report that some readers have said they would like that portion of the feature to return.

The Chemical Education XChange provides an ideal platform to revisit Especially. Posts at the XChange already share information about conferences, awards, and other events outside of JCE, so that aspect is already covered. Mary Saecker currently produces an overall view of each JCE issue at the XChange through her “Issue Highlights,” such as her recent October 2015 issue post. She makes it easy to jump to articles of interest and pulls related links from the archives.

Especially can return to focus on its main purpose—to highlight JCE articles of interest to readers. The XChange’s audience includes a wider range than just high school educators. Some teach beginning college chemistry at two- and four-year schools. I’m in my second year as an ACS Science Coach working with local elementary students. It’s no longer “Especially for High School Teachers,” it’s “Especially JCE.” We can discuss our thoughts on how particular articles can be used in one or more of these environments. I’ll write posts, but Especially JCE will be more of a collaboration than in the past—the XChange allows for multiple contributors to share their views of articles from a particular issue, but still have them linked together. We all bring different experiences and viewpoints to the discussion, and we’d like you to be part of the conversation.

Interested in chiming in as one of the voices of Especially JCE? We encourage you to register an account (free) or  register for an XChange subscription. Then, you can either comment on an Especially JCE post or submit a request to contribute, explaining that you’d like to contribute to the column. Questions? Contact us using the XChange’s contact form.