One of the goals of the ASELL project is to help facilitate the development of a community of practice in chemistry education.  Partly for this reason, workshops run under both the APCELL and ACELL banners have involved discussions of educational issues – these discussions were found to be helpful for the delegates to the 2006 ACELL workshop.

Discussions with numerous chemistry academic staff, as well as our own experiences in managing this project, suggest that one of the challenges faced by scientists examining educational issues is the difficulty in understanding the literature of education.  Just as in any other field, the education community has its own language, its own body of common knowledge, and its own practices relating to research.  As the ASELL team has experience with both camps (so to speak), we want to try and act as a bridge to help scientists draw on knowledge from the field of education.  To this end, the pages included here provide some information which we hope will be of assistance to the growing community of chemistry educators.

More pages will be added as time goes on – if there is a topic you would like to see added to these pages, or you would like to make a contribution, please contact us.

Summary of Information Available

Conceptual Change: A large amount of instructional time is devoted to conceptual change – either in trying to change students’ pre-existing conceptions, or in addressing misconceptions.  This page provides references to some important literature in the area, and also a review of the area.

Guide to content analysis:  It is common in chemistry education to collect qualitative data, from sources such as open-ended questions in surveys, interviews, or focus groups.  However, as scientists, we have much experience dealing with quantitative data, but not with qualitative data.  This is a step-by-steo guide to one approach to content analysis of qualitative data from the survey of delegates at the 2006 ACELL workshop.

Learning Theories:  The theory of constructivism is the dominant paradigm in educational psychology today, but what does the term actually mean?  This page attempts to explain the basis for theories of learning in terms understandable to the practising scientist.