The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group has created materials for chemistry teachers nationwide to employ in order to deliver professional development in your schools, districts, and professional organizations. The ten sessions constitute a full course of professional development, which we used to deliver over the course of an entire school year back in Boston. The design of the professional development is based upon three critical frameworks, each of which is a pillar that the PD rests upon. These three pillars are Chemical Thinking, the Formative Assessment Enactment Model and the Teaching Dilemmas. Understanding how these three pillars collectively support the ACCT model of professional development is critical to be able to deliver professional development sessions effectively. More information about each framework is linked above their respective infographics. Session at at glance pages for each of the nine sessions give an overview of what facilitators and participants should expect from each ACCT session.
Session 2, a 3 hour session, extends the formative assessment experiences in session 1a and offers participants an opportunity to engage in an innovative lab formative assessment activity. Teachers will continue to build a collaborative professional learning community with a connecting activity, thinking like a student, and a chemical thinking discussion. The session requires a lab classroom for teachers to experience the Pringle design challenge. Time will be spent exploring the Formative Assessment Enactment model more deeply. Session 2 focuses on Chemical Control and touches on three of the six overarching ACCT objectives.
Political dilemmas will be associated with resistance from various stakeholders when school and organizational norms are questioned and routines of privilege and authority are disturbed.
Cultural dilemmas will emerge between teachers and students as classroom roles and expectations shift with an emphasis on chemical thinking.
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.
Conceptual dilemmas will occur as teachers confront the philosophical, psychological, and epistemological assumptions that differ between a traditional conceptualization of chemistry learning and chemical thinking. Teachers are asked to organize instruction around the Chemical Thinking Framework instead of a topic based approach.
Implementing constructivist pedagogy in the chemistry classroom (Chemical Thinking) has inherent challenges which hinder teachers. Teaching Dilemmas emerge due to the ambiguities, philosophies, and compromises that arise among stakeholders in the educational arena. These dilemmas commonly arise from tensions between teaching what we know in the way we were taught (Traditional) vs. teaching students how to think and know about chemistry by creating the knowledge (Chemical Thinking). Many teachers need to deal with these dilemmas in our everyday practice.
This 3 hour session provides an introduction to the Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) professional development series. Session 1 provides an overview of the three program components that drive ACCT sessions: The Chemical Thinking Model, the Formative Assessment Enactment Model and Teaching Dilemmas. Teachers have time to get to know each other and begin to build a collaborative professional learning community. Participants complete a chemistry formative assessment and then explore student work related to that assessment. The Chemical Thinking Framework is discussed in more detail, highlighting the related chemistry practices. The six overarching objectives, the central focus of the ACCT course, are introduced; they will be revisited in each workshop session.
In "Comparing household chemicals" students discover the effects of using different types of household chemicals and determine if they are really all so different. This formative assessment targets the question “What are the effects of using and producing different matter types?” This is important because students should understand the types of products they are using. If they are buying something that says it is a cleaner for the bathroom, why does it sometimes have the same compounds in it as a cleaner for the kitchen. If students can recognize this, then they can be better consumers and not have to buy two different products knowing that the chemicals are the same.
In the “Airbag challenge” the students are tasked with developing a safe airbag for a car company. This formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How can chemical changes be controlled?” The central concept in this challenge is the application is stoichiometry. Students are expected to use the numbers of moles of reactant consumed or product formed in a balanced chemical equation and to determine the change in the number of moles of any other reactant and product. Students need to use molar mass to convert mass of a reactant or product to moles for use in stoichiometric calculations or to convert moles from stoichiometric calculations to mass. Students use the ideal gas law equation to determine the numbers of moles in a sample of gas not at standard conditions.