Enthusing chemistry students


Relevant chemistry education
Ingo Eilks and Avi Hofstein (eds)
Sense Publishers
2015 | 389pp | £39 (PB)
ISBN 9789463001731

The book is divided into four themes, looking at the individual, societal, and vocational and economic dimensions, with a final section on non-formal education. The authors typically combine relevant literature with their own research findings and experiences, often with an international perspective. Usefully, each chapter starts with a concise, yet informative abstract to give the reader a flavour of the ensuing discussion.Many chemistry teachers attempt to make the subject relevant to their students by drawing on their own professional and life experiences. In Relevant Chemistry Education, the editors have drawn together current thinking from distinguished colleagues on methods to increase the relevance of chemistry teaching in the classroom. It would particularly support chemistry teacher educators and chemistry education researchers in developing their knowledge in a concise and scholarly manner.

In the main, the text is user friendly and maintains its accessibility throughout. As with all books of this nature, some chapters might be more pertinent than others, depending upon your interests and requirements. But all are thought provoking and at times provide contrasting and critical viewpoints. The chapter discussing non-formal science programmes in Finland was very stimulating, and considering how well Finland achieves in the PISA studies, it makes you wonder how feasible they would be to replicate elsewhere.

I am uncertain whether many school teachers would pick up this book to further develop their own practice unless they had a specific interest in the topic or were undertaking further study alongside their work. This would be a shame as all teachers could use the information to help challenge their own thinking and practice, while developing strategies to support teaching and learning in the classroom.

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