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ERIC Number: EJ943209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
What Lies at the Heart of Good Undergraduate Teaching? A Case Study in Organic Chemistry
Davidowitz, Bette; Rollnick, Marissa
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v12 n3 p355-366 2011
Teaching organic chemistry at the undergraduate level has long been regarded as challenging and students are often alienated by the mass of detail which seems to characterise the subject. In this paper we investigate the practice of an accomplished lecturer by trying to capture and portray his pedagogical content knowledge, PCK, in order to reveal his tacit knowledge as a resource for others. Data analysed from interviews and a set of five introductory lectures showed the framing of Big Ideas designed to underpin later work in the course. Five manifestations of his practice emerged strongly from the data analysis, namely Explanations, Representations, Interaction with Students, Curricular Saliency and Topic Specific Strategies. This realisation allowed us to make inferences about his underlying knowledge and beliefs regarding how the discipline should be taught. We found that the most important aspect of his practice was his recognition of the basic underlying concepts to be mastered before starting the main part of the course, and his strong beliefs related to the learning of the discipline. The extraction and portrayal of these practices are a valuable resource for novice lecturers. (Contains 1 note, 2 tables, and 4 figures.)
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 - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa