Recommendations for the Maryland Conference - Journal of Chemical


Recommendations for the Maryland Conference. M. J. Frazer. J. Chem. Educ. , 1981, 58 (6), p 454. DOI: 10.1021/ed058p454. Publication Date: June 1981...
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Recommendations for the Maryland Conference M. J. Frazer University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK In a month or so (Aueust 1981) over 300 deleeates from all will he the latest in a series of international meetings aimed a t improving the teaching and learning of chemistrv a t all levels: previous meetingsUwere a t Frasiati, 1969 ( 1 ) ; ~ n o w mass-at-Aspen, 1970 (2);SBo Paulo, 1971 (3);Wroclow, 1973 ( 4 ) ; Madrid, 1975 ( 5 ) ;Ljubljana, 1977 ( 6 ) ;and Dublin, 1979 ( 7 ) . Most of them were organized by the IUPAC Committee on Teaching of Chemistry, usually in collaboration with other organizations such as UNESCO. At some of the conferences recommendations have heen prepared. Usually these have heen written by a few delegates at the time of the conference, hut they have not heen published until muchlater. At Maryland a new approach is to he tried. The organizing committee is determined to involve as many people as possible in arriving a t the recommendations and therefore has charged an international group to prepare a draft for discussion. These draft recommendations are being published in this article and will be availahle to all those taking part a t Maryland even before the conference begins. There will he plenary and small group sessions to discuss the draft s o that it can be added to and amended. Then a t the closing

session of the conference the final set of recommendations will he presented as an agenda for future action. The organizing committee invited me to act as coordinator of the group preparing the draft recommendations. About 50 people known to he active in chemical education, representing countries in all the UNESCO regions and representing all levels and types of institution were contacted by post. They were sent copies of the recommendations arising from the previous conferences and were asked to state which, if any, of these should be included for Maryland, and if they were to he included how the wording might be improved. Finally, they were asked to suggest alternative recommendations. There was a good response and 18 of the earlier recommendations received more than 65% of votes suggesting they should reappear a t Maryland. These 18 recommendations were then prepared for discussion hy the IUPAC Committee on Teaching of Chemistry a t its meeting in September 1980. Following this discussion a revised version was sent to the correspondents, and the comment received led to the final version of the draft recommendations appearing in this article. The 15 recommendations, arranged under seven headings, are shown in the table.

Draft Recommendations to Present to the Maryland Conlerence (1) Exchange of information. There is a need for exchanging informationabout chemical education 1e.g.. current problems, new approaches. new research

4.2 initial and in-service teacher training courses should: (i) include the desian. construction. adaotation, and use of locallv oroduced, low-cost

1.2 National, regional, and international conferences on carefully selected topics01 current concern in chemical education should continue to be organized (Directed to A 8 4. 1.3 The International Newsletler of IUPAC-CTC should continue to be supported and developed further (Directed to A 8 4. (2) New organizations. in every country there should be an association for all those individuals active and interested in wohing for the improvement of chemical education. There is also a need for regional cooperation between such organizations. It is. therefore, recommendedthat: 2.1 In countries where they do not already exist there shouid be established some national mechanisms appropriate to local conditions ( e g . an education division of the chemical society. a chemistry teachers' organization) (Directed to 4. 2.2 Support should be given to regional federations of chemical societies particularlyto encourage such federations to collaborate with the IUPAC committee on ~eachingof Chemistry (Directed10A 8 8). (3) Teaching at university l e v d There is a need for greater effort in developing new curricula, and in improvingteaching, at university level. It is, therefore, rerommended . - ~that: 3.1 Continued support should be given for courses and other activities aimed at improvingteaching in universities and other institutions (Directed to A, B. 0. 3.2 me w e w structure of university chemishy teachers should give greater consideration to contributions to teaching and to chemicai education research and develooment (Directed to 0. (4) Newexperimenhandlowcosf equipment. h all countries labaatoryteaching at all levels is becoming increasingly expensive. It is, therefore, recommended that: 4.1 Continued e f f m s should be made to design low cost equipment and to produce new experiments using locally produced and cheaper eoui~mentand chemicals (Directed to A, B, 8 0.

exchange of information and personnel between industry and education institutions at all levels is widely accepted. It is. therefore, recommended that: Continued encouraaement. oartlcuiariv financial sumort, from industw

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Journal of Chemical Education

ally (Directed to A). (6) Popularizing chembtv. Anitudes to science are largely formed before the age of 12-74 and the influence of home, local community, and primary school are important. It is, therefore, recommendedthat: There should be continued support for programs aimed at (i) improving scienceteaching in primary schools: and (ii) bringing science to parents and to the general public especially by the media (Directed to A and 8).

(7) Chemicaieducationandsociety.A current trend, which will continue in the 19805, and which should certainly be encouraged, is the close relationship of chemical education to society and to future needs. it is, therefore, recommended that: 7.1 Ways should be found for including more material on the social, economic, technoiogical. culturai. and ethical aspects of chemistry in curricula at both school and university levels (Directed to BandC). 7.2 Chemistry courses at ail levels should make students aware of the chemists' role in society and of society's future needs (Directed to

c). 7.3 in curriculum planning, anention should be paid to the possible future directions of chemistry so that students learn whatthe real challenges will be tomorrow rather than what they were in the past (Directed t o 8 and 0. 7.4 Chemistry courses should include instruction on information storage and retrieval and on technology transfer (Directed to C j .

The intention all along has been to prepare a concise list of recommendations. In particular it was recognized that recommendations can he converted into action only by individuals (school and universitv teachers., insoectors. curricnlum planners, research workers in industry etc.). The recommendations are therefore directed for action a t anuronriak .. . individuals and a t the organizations where they work. Each recommendation is followed by one or more letters, A,B and/or C, to indicate the organizations to which it is principally directed.

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( A ) UNESCO or agencies of national governments ( H )IUPAC, or regional federationsof chemical societies or individual chemical societies or associations of teachers (C)universities, and other institutions of higher education.

Correspondents came from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, France, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uganda,

IJnited Kingdom, .. . United States. United Reanblic of Cameroon, Yugoslavia. I should like to thank all those who took Dart in this exercise for their interest and cooperation. If you are not coming to Maryland, send your comments through your national representative on the IUPAC Committee on Teaching of Chemistry or please write directly to me. Literature Cited (1) Chisman. D. G.. IEdiiorl, "Univemity Chemlcal Education? Pure and A p p l k d Chemistry, 22,11970l. ( 2 ) Hammund.G, and Nyho1m.R.S. er ol., J. CHBM. Eouc.48.3 119711. 13) Gumez-lbanez. .I. D., IEditorl. "Chemical Education," f i r e m d Applied Chemistry, 11 11972). I41 "Ney.Trmds in Chemistry Teaching Volume IV." The UNESCO P~ess.Paria, 1911: Cook,W. B.,J. CHEMEDUC.. 51,298 11974). (51 Ha". C. N. a . IEditorl. "Educatronal Technolugy in theTeaching of Chemistry: in^

ternatiund Union 0fPuremdApplied Chemistry Oxford. 1975: Cwk. W. B.,J CHEM.

EDUC.53.295 (1976)iLippincoLt, W. T.. J. CHEM. Eouc..52.687 11976). (61 Kurnhaurer,A.. IEditorl,"ChemicalEducafionm theComingDecadas-Prohiemsand

Challenger?DDUUniveirum.Ljobljana.

1979.

(71 Chllds, P. and Gowan. .I. E., (Edrlnrr), "'Phe Teachine ofChemistry-.Interaction be^ tween Secondary and l'ertlary Levels," Published by the organizing committee ofthe inl~rnationalconference on chemical educsfiun, University College, Duhlin. 198% UP KO% J. V., J. CHFM.EOUC.56.283 (19801.

Volume 58

Number 6

June 1981

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