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ERIC Number: EJ1141994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Core Ideas and Topics: Building Up or Drilling Down?
Cooper, Melanie M.; Posey, Lynmarie A.; Underwood, Sonia M.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n5 p541-548 May 2017
In this paper we discuss how and why core ideas can serve as the framework upon which chemistry curricula and assessment items are developed. While there are a number of projects that have specified "big ideas" or "anchoring concepts", the ways that these ideas are subsequently developed may inadvertently lead to fragmentation of knowledge, rather than construction of a coherent, contextualized framework. We present four core ideas that emerged as a consequence of a transformation effort at our institution and discuss the relationships between core ideas and more recognizable topics in the context of a general chemistry course. We show how commonly taught topics can be supported and developed on the basis of the core ideas and discuss why this approach can lead to a more expert-like framework upon which students can build their future understanding.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE0816692