Archive for April, 2009

     I have started no fewer than a dozen reflections on my student teaching experience at a large urban high school.   I have not published any of them because I needed time to take a breath, process the experience, and gain perspective.

     I was fortunate to work with a terrific, supportive Master Teacher and wonderful students who I miss very much.   The experience was particularly beneficial because I taught Chemistry from a strictly conceptual perspective.   This is so far from my own experiences learning Chemistry that I could barely have imagined how to do this.   In these General Chemistry classes, math is minimized and this allows access to the subject for those students that do not have strong math skills.

     I wonder how many students, unless they continue in a science related to Chemistry, remember formulas, constants, and other knowledge that they do not use on a regular basis.  Conceptual Chemistry means that Chemistry is taught as a system, as part of life, as something that exists outside the Periodic Table of Elements on the wall and the bottles of chemicals in the back room.   It also means that more focus can be placed on the Nature of Science aspects of science learning including evaluating information from a questioning stance and the utility and limitations of scientific models.

     Perhaps I’ll add more to this later.  The experience was invaluable and I look forward to using what I have learned in my future practice!

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