Connecting Chemistry with Society

Educational Approaches to Help Students Connect Chemistry to World Issues of Sustainability and Climate (#149)

There is an inherent tension associated with introductory level college chemistry courses. For many students, the general chemistry course, provides a vital foundation for other science courses and therefore the content coverage in the course must be able to provide this foundation. At the same time, cognitive science has established an ever improving understanding of how people learn, and the evidence suggests that disjointed or piecemeal facts about any field, including chemistry, are unlikely to provide deep conceptual understanding.

One way to address the tension between providing foundational level knowledge of chemistry while acknowledging how people learn is to incorporate these key basic tenets of the field within a rich, real world context. This symposium will address how the issues of global climate change and sustainability can provide the rich context that can promote learning.

Talks in this symposium will provide both descriptions of the context (climate change and/or sustainability) and evidence about how students learn the fundamental concepts when taught chemistry within these rich contexts.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015