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ERIC Number: EJ910897
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Let's Teach How We Think Instead of What We Know
Talanquer, Vincente; Pollard, John
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v11 n2 p74-83 2010
Despite multiple calls for reform, the curriculum for first-year college chemistry at many universities across the world is still mostly fact-based and encyclopedic, built upon a collection of isolated topics, oriented too much towards the perceived needs of chemistry majors, focused too much on abstract concepts and algorithmic problem solving, and detached from the practices, ways of thinking, and applications of both chemistry research and chemistry education research in the 21st century. This paper describes an alternative way of conceptualizing the introductory chemistry curriculum for science and engineering majors by shifting the focus from learning chemistry as a body of knowledge to understanding "chemistry as a way of thinking". Starting in 2007, we have worked on the development and implementation of a new curriculum intended to: promote deeper conceptual understanding of a minimum core of fundamental ideas instead of superficial coverage of multiple topics; connect core ideas between the course units by following well-defined learning progressions; introduce students to modern ways of thinking and problem-solving in chemistry; and involve students in realistic decision-making and problem-solving activities. (Contains 3 tables.)
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; 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