Professional development articles

Selected articles from Education in Chemistry. Discover new ideas for teaching tricky topics.

Colour illustration of lady with rucksack and map walking through a landscape of paper

Improving practical work with integrated instructions

Do your students struggle to follow written instructions?

A picture of hazards pictograms on brightly coloured tubes

Lab safety

Encourage students to assess risk effectively

Close-up of stopwatch face

Rate experiments

Enhance your rate of reaction practical work

Scientists observing a chemical reaction

Observation skills

How to develop students’ observation skills in practical chemistry

Burette taps

Making measurements

Help your students use appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements

Boiling jam and thermometer in a saice[am

Monitoring reactions

Encourage students to observe and measure reactions

Coffee filter

Separation techniques

Distilling the essentials of separation

Small heaps of salt in a wet field

Evaporation, filtration and crystallisation

How to add variety and context to lessons while getting students familiar with apparatus


Inorganic chemical tests

Joe Ogborn takes a tour of teaching inorganic chemical tests

Cracked egg

Chemical energetics: words matter

How you can help your students avoid common misconceptions about energy change?

An image showing potassium burning in water

Measuring energy changes

Get practical with students and arm them with the skills and knowledge they need


Chemical bonding: the octet rules ... OK?

Kay Stephenson and Dorothy Warren explain common misconceptions and show you how you could help your students

Oxidation states of vanadium

Redox chemistry

David Everett shows how you could help your students with redox chemistry


Rates of reactions

Steve Hacker explains how the concept of reaction rates could be introduced

Copper ore in a warehouse

Practical electrolysis

Ideas for enhancing electrolysis practical work

Fresh spearmint leaves

Organic chemistry: smelly and difficult?

How you can help your students avoid difficulties with organic chemistry

Glass spiral pipe of reflux condenser isolated on white

Practical distillation

How to develop your students’ distillation knowledge and practical skills

Secondary school students doing practical science

Laboratory skills

Resources to develop students’ practical abilities

EiC 0217 - CPD - Hero

Practical chromatography

Ideas for enhancing practical chromatography

An image showing a female student writing notes in a notebook she's holding; she is wearing a lab coat and lab spectacles, and the background is a school science laboratory

Applying practical knowledge to unfamiliar contexts

Prepare students to use their learning in different situations


Acids and bases

Morag Easson explains how to neutralise student difficulties


Practical organic chemistry

David Everett describes some difficulties with the topic and shows how you could help your students


Moles and titrations

Dorothy Warren describes some of the difficulties with teaching this topic and shows how you can help your students to master aspects of quantitative chemistry

Cobalt chloride equilibrium

Understanding equilibrium: a delicate balance

Steve Hacker describes some of the difficulties with teaching this topic and shows how you could help your students


Using models

How to overcome the difficulties with teaching scientific models and some warnings about using easily-accessible resources


Practical science

Derek Denby explains how to get the most out of lab work

An image showing a teacher in front of a periodic table, surrounded by students, all with their backs to camera; a female student is pointing at the element cobalt.

The periodic table

Introduce students to its structure and order