No one really knows how to immediately transform an in person class to a distance learning environment. We struggle to provide an equitable education, whatever that looks like, for all our students and make accommodations for differences in learning abilities, home lives, internet access, in addition to mental and physical health.
With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. These ideas can be demonstrated chemically, for example, by the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to produce an oxygen gas foam. Decreased hydrogen peroxide concentrations, representing decreased human population concentrations from social distancing, produce oxygen gas foam, representing cases of illness, at a slower rate. A similar demonstration can be achieved using the popular Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations.
Developing Students’ Scientific Reasoning - The March 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: nanochemistry; innovative curriculum; teaching with games; teaching with food chemistry and natural products; infrared applications; analysis using color, images, and visualization; environmental chemistry; computer-aided organic chemistry; synthesis laboratories; physical chemistry; graduate school climate assessment; chemical education research: introductory chemistry and student success.
Inspiring Teaching and Learning Chemistry for 97 Years
The January 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: activities using household materials; demonstrations; health-oriented experiments; microplastics; environmental chemistry labs; fluorescence; surface chemistry; cost-effective equipment; augmented & virtual reality; laboratory curriculum; examining learning in general chemistry; organic chemistry teaching resource; from the archives: developing oral communication skills.
Have you heard that TERC, a nonprofit, has launched a STEM Teacher Leadership Network funded by the National Science Foundation? The online community is for aspiring or current teacher leaders, researchers and administration to improve STEM education, effect policy and discuss the changes to the future of STEM education in a collaborative online collegial network.
A couple of days ago on Twitter, the ever-lasting debate between lecture and active learning reignited due to some talks at an Educational Research Conference held in Dublin. These talks stated direct guidance (which includes lecture) was superior in terms of student learning due its reduction of students’ cognitive load. The main citation used for this argument was an article by Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark published in 2006. So, let’s dive into what this article says.
Chemistry Education: A Bridge to the Future
The August 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: authentic chemistry laboratories; student motivation, sustained interest, and student success; student understanding of fundamental concepts; aids to assessment; computer-based learning; active learning activities; engaging polymer chemistry activities; experimenting with flavor and food; organic chemistry laboratories; spectroscopy laboratories; acid-base chemistry; from the archives: polymer properties.
I am a chemist and member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA. Technical staff members are expected to apply their expertise to a variety of ongoing scientific research projects.
Chemistry is difficult to learn. Walk into any chemistry classroom, and you’ll be soon confronted with many abstract concepts. Abstract ideas have no physical form, and as a result, they are difficult to understand.
Developing PCK requires a certain level of subject matter knowledge, and teachers have a different understanding of subject matter than a person who specializes in that same field. A chemistry teacher and a ‘practicing’ chemist both have subject matter knowledge in chemistry; however, the knowledge is applied differently.