Developing better internal schema in chemistry students

Pre-warning. This is a bit of a long read and gets a bit heavy. If you want to skip to the final summary, scroll down! Disclaimer: A lot of this article is based on the work of Talanquer (2015). Barely any of it is my own so please do take a look at his articleContinue reading “Developing better internal schema in chemistry students”

There are certain concepts in chemistry that students must understand if there are to develop an expertise in the discipline.  We can call these “threshold concepts”. These threshold concepts should be considered as a portal to further understanding and, according to Meyer and Land (2003), should be: Transformative – once understood, it should cause aContinue reading

The equilibrium law is a tool used by chemists to help them work out how best to manipulate chemical reactions to achieve the greatest yield of the desired product. For a reaction mixture at equilibrium at a certain temperature, the ratio of the concentration of products to reactants will remain constant. We call this ratioContinue reading

5 strategies for giving more timely feedback

Recently I conducted a round of student surveys. In this survey, we ask students to rate us on a scale of 1 (not great) to 4 (pretty darn good) in 8 areas, which are shown in the figure below:   In every class, one of my bottom two scores was in the category, “In thisContinue reading “5 strategies for giving more timely feedback”

The Scientist’s Mindset

Education is set up in such a way that students are judged by their ability to perform a very specific skill which is completing timed assessments. Entire educations (mine was) can be set up with this in mind! With this being an end goal, we set up systems that equate performance in tests with masteryContinue reading “The Scientist’s Mindset”

Flow

I hit a state of flow in my teaching today. For those that don’t know, flow is neatly explained in this TED talk (link). I got lost in the lesson. Everything seemed to work. Why? The topic was interesting, and this great resource from Kurk Gesagt’s In a Nutshell series kicked it off (link). TheContinue reading “Flow”

So what is a concept anyway?

So what is a concept anyway? UWCSEA is working hard to utilize concept based teaching and learning (CBTL) at the school. It is an exciting journey and one that has already borne fruit for me personally. Through concept mapping units before I teach them, I have gained a greater insight into the connections between conceptsContinue reading “So what is a concept anyway?”