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ERIC Number: EJ824922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Six Pillars of Organic Chemistry
Mullins, Joseph J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n1 p83-87 Jan 2008
This article describes an approach to teaching organic chemistry, which is to have students build their knowledge of organic chemistry upon a strong foundation of the fundamental concepts of the subject. Specifically, the article focuses upon a core set of concepts that I call "the six pillars of organic chemistry": electronegativity, polar covalent bonding, inductive effects, steric effects, resonance, and aromaticity. By the proper application of these concepts, students can explain and predict a wide variety of chemical, physical, and biological properties of molecules. In addition, they can serve to conceptually unite important features of general, organic, and biochemistry. The goal is to introduce the concepts in such a way and to reinforce their importance for each functional group such that students gain a true appreciation for the science and are not overwhelmed by the volume of information in the course. Each semester begins with a lecture devoted to defining these terms, and ends with a capstone lecture that highlights their usefulness. This approach has proven to be popular with students and appears to be in general accord with prevailing attitudes in chemical education. (Contains 1 note and 12 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A