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ERIC Number: EJ918114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Reflections Catalyzed by an Assault on a Favorite Principle
Schultz, Emeric
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n5 p472-473 May 2010
This commentary disagrees with a recent submission (Cheung, D. "J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86," 514-518) questioning the value of the Le Chtelier principle (LCP). Cheung points out that the LCP fails to predict the proper change in a small set of chemical equilibria. This commentary argues that the LCP has great qualitative utility in correctly predicting perturbations in most common chemical phenomena. Cheung argues for abandoning the LCP in high school teaching based on a limited number of misfirings of the LCP not congruent with mathematical equilibrium calculations. The commentary takes off from this suggestion to ask: (i) What expectations should we have for secondary teachers of chemistry? (ii) What should be the balance and harmony of qualitative and quantitative components in secondary chemistry? (iii) How should we deal with exceptions to rules or principles? The commentary concludes in arguing for a proper balance of qualitative and quantitative teaching of chemistry and coupling that teaching to explaining real problems that have a significant chemical dimension (global warming). The author believes that this approach would result in higher visibility and greater respect for chemistry.
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; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A