… and salutes CPD as a teacher’s best friend
Last issue, I promised that we would continue to develop the website and bring you new content, so I am pleased to say that our blog was launched in February, with Michael Seery from Dublin Institute of Technology as our chief blogger. We also have the first article in our CPD series, which you may remember was introduced in January’s issue by Keith Taber.
Come blog with us!
The blog, I’m delighted to say, has really taken off in its first few weeks and has prompted a huge number of comments from the chemistry education community in the UK and from further afield. In these first posts, Michael has looked at some of our recent pedagogy articles and opened discussions about how these techniques can be implemented in the classroom and the impact this could have on teaching and learning. We have collated some of these comments along with snippets of the discussions they have sparked across the social media, on our new style Feedback page. As Michael will need a holiday from time to time, we will be looking for guest bloggers, so if you have an idea that you think will be of interest to readers and stimulate discussion, please do contact me.
In a bid to bring the chemistry education blogging community together and share our collective knowledge, he has also taken a look at some other blogs so you can see the current hot topics of conversation in one place (see The great EiC blogorama!).
Continuing professional development
Blogs are a fantastic method of CPD as they help us to share best practice and keep up to date with new methodologies. This is something we all must do throughout our professional careers. CPD can take many forms, from reading to attending courses or even conferences.
In this issue we have the first of our new CPD articles. Kay Stephenson and Dorothy Warren start the ball rolling with a look at chemical bonding – a topic that gives rise to a wide range of misconceptions across all levels of students, and even teachers. They will explain how these misconceptions can arise, how to find out if your students hold them and how you can adjust your teaching methods to correct these problems.
As the series progresses we will cover other tricky topics such as energy, equilibrium reactions and molecular modelling. The idea behind these articles is to give you a quick fix for common problems. The articles will direct you to a range of resources on Learn Chemistry that you can use to help you and support your teaching.
Many of you may teach chemistry but this may not be your first subject. All the more reason to try and clock up as much CPD experience as you can. There is so much available that can support your career development and a good deal is free – like Education in Chemistry and resources on Learn Chemistry. Joining Learn Chemistry Partnership will give you lots more, including free personal membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry and all the benefits that has to offer. The RSC also runs a series of specialist courses. CPD really is a teacher’s best friend. Good, confident teachers who can encourage and engage students in chemistry will help to ensure that we have a continuous supply of students going on to pursue further study and these essential careers in the chemical sciences.
Karen J Ogilvie, editor