ChemEd X articles address topics in chemical education ranging across the entire spectrum of the chemical sciences.
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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.
The ChemEd X team is pleased to announce ChemEd X Talks! These 30 minute live Zoom events are free, but registration is required. Teachers are asked to keep their video on, ask questions and participate in the discussion by offering their own ideas and experience with the topic. Register for our next ChemEd X Talk or find recordings for past Talks that you may have missed here!
Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic ChemEd X began compiling a list of both new and previously published ChemEd X posts and resources that might be useful to teachers while teaching remotely. Topics include Technology & Teaching Resources, Strategies and Tips for Teaching Online, Lesson Ideas Suitable for Online Instruction and more. This list continues to grow. Readers are encouraged to check in often to find new content and to comment with additional resources that we can add to our list.
The December 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching during COVID-19; examining models used by students; chemical structure; game-based learning; interdisciplinary courses; teaching chemistry using plants; laboratory instruction with real-world context; fluorescence; exploring spectroscopy; thermodynamics; chemical education research; from the archives: photography.
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.
The ACS Exams Institute is pleased to announce that new tutorial practice exams are now available for General Chemistry, (first term) and Organic Chemistry (full year).
Michael Morgan shares a lesson that he has used for many years that not only requires students to explain a topic that they have not been directly taught but also to develop explanations based on previous knowledge. He has used this lesson as a multiday “in-class” assignment and also as an “at-home” independent study. It works well in both scenarios with only minor revision. The lesson is based on Alfred Werner’s work on deducing the structures of coordination compounds.
The November 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: microplastic contamination and the environment; diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect in chemistry education research and practice; teaching in the time of COVID-19; chemistry and health; service learning; using games to teach; examining structures; solubility; spectroscopy; natural products chemistry; understanding polymer chemistry; materials science; assessment; analyzing student understanding; from the archives: battery explorations.
The use of anthocyanins in red cabbage extracts as pH indicators has long been a popular classroom activity. Flowers, fruits and vegetables contain a diverse range of anthocyanins. This investigation explores further applications of plant-derived dyes including reversible reactions based on oxidation/reduction chemistry and other reactions to illustrate colour changes that are not solely dependent on pH change. By using household materials and plant dyes, this investigation may potentially be completed at home if necessary.
Many teachers have students draw models and diagrams to help them illustrate how matter behaves. Teachers can uncover and address possible misconceptions quickly using this strategy. The author describes how to create interactive particle diagram activities that are easy for students to use online. This strategy is applicable to almost any particle diagram and should be useful for teachers during virtual lessons.