Curriculum, Pedagogy & Grading Resources

  Why is Chemistry so Difficult?

One reason so many students find chemistry difficult is the abstract nature of the concepts. Research based on the constructivist model of learning has shown that as an educator teaches, the learner makes meaning of the content by drawing from their background knowledge, attitude, abilities and everyday experience and this often results in a different construct than that of the teacher.

Science Modeling Talks Podcast

This week marks the launch of a new science education podcast called, Science Modeling Talks. The podcast provides some history on the Modeling pedagogy and access to resources, as well as entertaining anecdotes from award-winning educators. The podcast is free and available on a variety of platforms.

Flipped Classroom: Advantages and Challenges

The flipped classroom of today looks vastly different from its initial form. Originally, class time was primarily used to complete homework assignments; however, more effective active learning practices tend to dominate class time in modern applications of the model. Although the flipped classroom has improved over the years, several challenges persist.

Measurement, Uncertainty, and Significant Figures 

As high school teachers, we know that understanding how measurement works is crucial for lab skills and for understanding significant figures. We think measurement should be an easy topic for students to learn; especially because we know that teachers begin working with students in elementary school to teach these skills. However, I, and many other teachers, have spent countless hours teaching and reteaching a seemingly simple skill.

Cognitive Load and Active Learning

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.

Flipped Classroom: A Framework for In-Class Activities

The flipped-classroom approach to education is undoubtedly popular, with consistent growth in the number of related books, conference sessions, and educator network memberships. Although active-learning may not be any more beneficial in a flipped classroom compared to a traditional classroom, it is clear that a flipped class can increase the frequency of active-learning opportunities.

Practical Classroom Implementations for Critical Pedagogy

Once one knows about Critical Pedagogy (with respect to Critical Thinking, as was covered in the ), how is that knowledge used? Can strategies be implemented that embrace Critical Pedagogy while not sacrificing content coverage? What are some ways to build criticality in students while maintaining expected requirements for classroom rigor?

SBG Hacks: Homework

As teachers, we know how important it is for students to practice what they are learning and we are ever aware of the limited class time we have to provide those opportunities. We also know that our students have a full schedule of classes, are involved in extracurricular activities, work after-school jobs and may not have a strong support system and structure at home. That leaves us with the difficult question of “what do we do about homework?”