Developing teaching and learning skills


We begin this issue with a celebration. The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced its education awards for 2016. Four individuals have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to chemistry education – a school teacher, an HE lecturer, a technician and an education researcher. Where would chemistry education be without such dedicated individuals?

EiC aims to support you to deliver engaging teaching that will enhance and enrich your students’ knowledge and understanding of chemistry. One way we can do this is to show you how the latest research findings can be applied. David Read investigates two interesting studies in education research. The first examines how students can enhance their own skills by learning from the best practice of others. The second explains how students can monitor their perceptions of their own learning while engaging in new tasks. Both of these ideas could be widely adopted in classrooms.

Continuing with this theme, Paul Yates discusses how we can translate the concept of geometry into how to teach molecular structures, through a series of examples. In exploring the maths of symmetry in this way, Paul explains how this can be used to predict, for example, if spectroscopic transitions or organic reaction mechanisms are allowed.

We have spoken a great deal recently about the importance of language in teaching chemistry. Many of us teach chemistry to students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). Tom Husband looks at the range of strategies he uses to engage and support all students to learn chemistry.

As educators, we have a huge challenge in measuring students’ learning gains to make useful comparative judgements. Ross Galloway and Simon Lancaster consider how concept inventories can be used to quantify learning that will provide valuable indicators in education research<.

Not forgetting the science, Paul MacLellan, our deputy editor, wanted to answer a very fundamental question – how did molecules turn into living organisms? He takes us on a fascinating journey to find out where research has brought us so far.

Factors affecting our environment and sustainability are also a timely source of context-based enrichment. Elinor Hughes investigates concerns about fracking. She finds out and how scientists monitor emissions from fracking, and how these findings can be used to develop regulations.

Continuous development for EiC

In Endpoint Rachel Tuffin considers how an evidence-based approached can be used to develop professional standards. We are conscious of our own development at EiC and value your input. We launch our 2016 reader survey on 12 May. Enter at by 27 May to have a chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher.

Finally, you may notice some changes to our website over the coming weeks. We will be publishing articles online before they appear in the printed issue, so there’s always something new for you there. We hope you like this change and welcome your feedback.

Best wishes,
Karen J Ogilvie, editor