A compendium of modern, international, education research

Cover of Teaching chemistry - a study book

Ingo Eilks and Avi Hofstein
Sense Publishers
2013 | 352pp | £28 (PB)

This is an important new book with contributions from a range of international specialists in chemical education. The book is intended as a practical guide and textbook for teachers at all stages of their career. In many ways it acts as a compendium of modern, international, education research.

Chapters cover various important areas of chemical education such as curriculum design, motivation of pupils, laboratory work and teaching methods. Within each chapter there is a split between theory and practice. The theory sections explore the relevant research for each area in detail, illustrating the main theoretical issues. I found these sections mostly interesting and I now feel very much up to date with recent research in chemical education. However, I do think that it lacks any critical analysis, with all the research presented with equal weight.

The practice sections of each chapter suggest some possible teaching strategies following on from the theory. These sections do make many useful points but in general the book puts a greater weighting on the theory rather than the classroom practice.

I think this book would be a very interesting read for those involved in education research and for chemistry teachers who wish to read more deeply into educational theories. Its theoretical and international flavour certainly differentiates it from other science teaching books. It is not perfect, however, and at times the academic style of writing did make it an unnecessarily heavy going read. I also question its usefulness as a main textbook for new and trainee teachers, who I think would prefer a more easily digestible teaching guide with a greater emphasis on practice rather than theory.