IMPACT OF CHEMISTRY MODELING WORKSHOP ON TEACHERS

The impact is illustrated by these responses on the evaluation of the first semester chemistry modeling workshop at Arizona State University in summer 2006.

     

 

QUESTION: In what ways, if any, has the workshop affected your views about chemistry and/or chemistry education?   

 

ANSWERS:

* If I had been taught chemistry with a modeling approach, my chemistry classes in college would have been a lot easier to understand.

 

* It validates my concern that we spend too much time on info of no consequence (name, dates) and not enough on concepts.  It is NOT all about number-crunching.

 

* It has helped me to see that it's not as abstract a subject as I thought it was.  It has also shown me that traditional chemistry education does somewhat of a disservice to students.

 

* The workshop has done 2 things for me.  1) It has heightened my awareness of specific misconceptions.  2)  It has helped me to understand the value of the student making whiteboards & being asked to verbalize explanations.

 

* More connections with physics.

 

* It has totally rearranged the order in which I will teach the topics of the class.

 

* We need to do a better job for our students to overcome their naive conceptions.

 

* It has made me think about what kids don’t understand & what they really need to know.

 

* Broaden my perspective; bit depressing it has taken this long.

 

* I’ve always had the view that the current education system needs an overhaul.  And based on the readings/articles you made me read, I feel strongly about using modeling this fall.

 

* Concepts good!  Algorithms bad!

 

* It’s radically changed my approach to teaching chemistry because it addresses the major concerns I have w/student understanding.  It effectively emphasizes what I want my students to learn.

 

* The workshop has made teaching chemistry much more interesting.

 

* It has provided me greater substance to my ideas and means to implement them effectively.

 

* Modeling approach is a better modality.

 

* I found I have more to learn than I thought.

 

* It has reminded me that a unified presentation, a story-line, is important in aiding student understanding.

        ----------------------------------

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006

From: "Montero, Carlos A."

Sender: chemMod - chemistry modeling teachers <CHEMMOD@asu.edu>

To: CHEMMOD@asu.edu

Hi everyone,

I have been meaning to send this message for a while so this thread is the perfect place to do it.

 

This is my third year teaching.  I have a degree in chemical engineering and was never trained as a teacher.  This past summer I joined the FIU physics modeling workshop here in Miami.  I joined the workshop, for two reasons, I had done a math modeling workshop and found it effective and

because of the stipend.  I am not a physics teacher but I figure I could benefit from reviewing basic physics.

 

My experience was completely unexpected.  From the very beginning I was in awe of the clarity and effectiveness of the teaching methods.  It was so powerful that I decided to change my style of teaching completely to adopt the modeling methodology.  I am still teaching chemistry and even

though I did not take a chemistry modeling workshop, I started using all the materials developed by Larry [Dukerich of ASU] as soon as the year started.  The change was difficult for it is the first time I saw many of these activities. Still I pushed forward and have been using the entire curriculum.  After a few months, I feel settled in.

 

I must say that I am so happy that I found this method of instruction. Not only does it make complete sense, but it is far superior to the traditional methods of teaching.  The more I delve into the activities and get familiar with their implementation the more I value them.  I also feel that students are responding better than my previous two years.  I don't think I would ever teach any other way.

 

I hope to join the chemistry modeling workshop next summer even if I have to fly to Arizona.  Still I really thank you for developing this method and for helping me and my students.

Carlos A. Montero

Chemistry Teacher

Dr. Michael M. Krop High School

1410 County Line Rd.

Miami, FL, 33179