JCE 92.08—August 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education August 2015 Cover

Using Models and Modeling To Teach

The August 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers.  This issue includes articles on modeling instruction; Lewis dot structure model; molecular models; using models to teach crystal symmetry; introductory activities and labs; organic chemistry investigations and tools for engagement; enabling chemistry training for low vision or blind students; chemical education research in the literature; celebrating the work of Melanie Cooper; forensic chemistry articles from past issues.

Defining Conceptual Understanding in General Chemistry

There have been numerous educational initiatives that have driven the push for helping students develop deep conceptual understanding. One of the difficulties for educators is assessing whether students have actually made gains in understanding. Ask any teacher to define “conceptual understanding” and their definition may be very different from the next teacher’s definition. The authors of this timely article have taken the definitions of well over a thousand instructors and identified a consensus articulation of what conceptual understanding is.  This article will be of interest to any teacher struggling to assess their student’s conceptual understanding of content. 

International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference

How can our pedagogy broaden ideas of difference within and beyond the classroom to include social, cultural, linguistic, modal, and media differences, among others? Conference organizers welcome proposals that explore ways in which Writing Across the Curriculum can promote a dialogue on difference and inclusivity and encourage representatives of different populations to offer their multiple voices and perspectives on Writing Across the Curriculum today.

Addressing Student Misconceptions Using Modeling Instruction

Modeling Instruction

As school districts across the country approach the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, students will be required to develop models to illustrate what occurs at an atomic level as well as apply various mathematical representations in order to explain a science-based concept. However, what opportunities are we providing our students to allow them to explain what they know about a concept? Students should be provided with regular opportunities to develop and explain concepts, which in turn will allow teachers to formatively assess and address misconceptions.