I was at a workshop recently, when a friend suggested I read, Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Atkins, Oxford University Press. The friend suggested the book would not take long to read, and given the name included the phrase "A very short introduction" who was I to argue? So I bought the Kindle Version of the book for about $7 U.S. and got to reading.
If this is a site all about chemistry teaching, what in the world does a book called "10% Happier" have to do with anything? Let me explain....I'll try the short, condensed, one page executive summary.
John Hattie is a guy who spent twenty five years doing over 50000 meta analysis studies on about 80 million students and wrote a book called “Visible Learning”. He has also done a number of TED talks. Essentially, he asks the question, “What affects students learning?” and clearly as well as simply defines what an “effect” is. He told the story of a researcher who spent years recording classroom interactions from the perspective of the student and the teacher. The researcher was surprised to learn that about seventy percent of learning was not visible to the teacher. So..even the best teachers with the best data only get about thirty percent of the picture. Next came the book, Visible Learning for Teachers and the website “Visible Learning Plus”.
How did someone figure that out? Can you explain to me why this happens? No matter the topic, individuals are always seeking information as they look to explain complex objects and theories. “Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words” by Randall Munroe uses only one thousand of the most common words to explain various inventions and phenomena in the field of physical science.
I have been on a mission lately to make scientists out of my students. I am long past my fears that they are not capable of discovering the world for themselves or that they won’t learn the content if we spend too much time on science practices. What I have to work on now is orchestrating the experience. The pedagogy underlying Modeling Instruction has become the backbone for much of my instruction lately. This method of instruction not only gives my students an engaging, authentic scientific experience but has resulted in deeper content knowledge.
I just wanted to share a resource that I have been using since I started teaching AP chemistry last year.
A great book for summer reading is "Rust: the longest war".
Cars rusting! Bridges collapsing! Rust, and corrosion in general, is probably the most important topic that is not on most people's radar. This is definitely something people should be paying more attention to.
This book is not about chemistry, and it probably is the most "literary" book that I have written about in these pages. It is a beautiful story about the lives of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, who escapes during the Nazi occupation of France with her father, the master locksmith of the Paris Museum of Natural History, to St.