Chemical Information Sources/Teaching and Studying Chemistry
It is sometimes the case that a chemist is asked to teach a course with little or no guidance or preparation. Likewise, students could often profit from consulting supplemental materials to assist in understanding certain aspects of chemistry. This chapter will lead you to materials and sources that will be useful for both teaching and studying chemistry.
Teaching of Chemistry
There are not a lot of books available to teach you how to teach chemistry, particularly at the post-secondary level. Attempting to fill that gap is a work by J. Dudley Herron The Chemistry Classroom: Formulas for Successful Teaching (1996). The well-known chemistry educator Diane Bunce has written Survival Handbook for the New Chemistry Instructor (2004). Another book is Pienta, Cooper, and Greenbowe's Chemists' Guide to Effective Teaching (2009) For physical chemistry, you may want to consult Physical Chemistry: Developing a Dynamic Curriculum (1993). More general works are Teaching Science: A Guide for College and Professional School Instructors (1991) and A Handbook for Teachers in Universities and Colleges: A Guide to Improving Teaching Methods (1995). A comprehensive guide to chemistry textbooks can be found at the Chemical Education Resource Shelf. George Bodner has written Theoretical Frameworks for Research in Chemistry/Science Education (2007) which reflects the recent upsurge of interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Notable examples of chemistry courses on the Web showcase efforts to harness the power of the Web to chemistry teaching.
Innovative approaches to teaching chemistry are found in such journals as the ACS Division of Chemical Education's Journal of Chemical Education, the Journal of College Science Teaching, and The Crucible. The Royal Society of Chemistry's Education in Chemistry is described as a journal for teachers of chemistry at all levels. The Bibliography of Chemical Education Journals and the various newsletters from relevant professional groups, such as CHED (the newsletter of the ACS Division of Chemical Education), can also be of assistance. The JCE Index Online can be searched for author names and titles from 1924 onward, but a complete list of keyword index terms has been supplied for articles published since mid-1995. The Journal of Chemical Education's laboratory experiments are now easily accessible through the Project CHEMLAB database. Several printed sources of demonstrations are available, for example,
- Chemical Demonstrations: A Sourcebook for Teachers (2 v., 1988)
- Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook for Teachers (4 v., 1983-92)
- Tested Demonstrations in Chemistry (2 v., 1994)
- Inquiry-Based Experiments in Chemistry, (2000).
At the college level, the ACS's Committee on Professional Training (CPT) issues guidelines for certification of programs of chemistry instruction. Those can be found on the Web as: "Undergraduate Professional Education in Chemistry: Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures."
A database for the broader field of education is ERIC, which has extensive coverage of relevant journal articles as well as research reports from 1966 onward. A lot of chemistry material is included in ERIC.
The Study of Chemistry
The ACS Directory of Graduate Research (DGRWeb) can be a great help in selecting a graduate school in the US or Canada. Issued every two years by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training (CPT), it covers the main disciplines of chemistry, including biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemistry, environmental science, marine science, medicinal and/or pharmaceutical chemistry, polymers and materials science, toxicology.
Many colleges subscribe to CollegeSource ONLINE, with over 23,000 catalogs from many colleges and universities. Both US and non-US institutions of higher learning are included. Peterson's is another standard source to help find information about college or university programs.
By availing yourself of the growing literature on the scholarship of teaching and learning, the best practices of master chemistry teachers and educators can be found. There are also many tools to help you select an educational institution if a formal degree in chemistry is your goal.Last modified on 4 March 2011, at 18:25