g:i ag:i aFoundational Course Initiative Seminar: Exploring Student Reasoning to Support Better Teachingg:i a - g:i a


Event Details

This is part of the community-driven effort that is part of the Academic Innovation Initiative.

This presentation demonstrates the use of discipline-based education research to inform curriculum development and enhance student learning in chemistry, with discussion of general implications for instructional teams engaged in evidence-based course transformation. Despite multiple calls for reform, introductory science curricula at many universities tends to be fact-based and encyclopedic, built upon a collection of isolated topics, oriented too much towards the perceived needs of specific majors, and focused too much on abstract concepts and algorithmic problem solving. Research in science education has shown that these types of curricula do not help many students to develop meaningful understandings and connections between core concepts and ideas. Our own educational research in chemistry has revealed that many college students finishing a major in the discipline still rely on intuitive assumptions and fast and frugal heuristics to build explanations and make decisions. This presentation will summarize core findings of our research on student thinking and learning, and show how we have used these results to develop an alternative way of conceptualizing the introductory chemistry curriculum by shifting the focus from learning chemistry as a body of knowledge to understanding chemistry as a way of thinking. Our approach seeks to promote deeper conceptual understanding of a minimum core of ideas instead of superficial coverage of multiple topics; connect core ideas across the course by following well defined learning progressions; introduce students to modern ways of thinking in the discipline; and involve students in realistic problem-solving activities. This presentation will describe how the new curriculum has been implemented and evaluated, as well as the major challenges that have been faced during its implementation.

Dr. Vicente Talanquer – Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Arizona

Register here for this Brown Bag Seminar

The Foundational Course Initiative Seminar Series features high-profile speakers who have extensive experience leading the transformation of foundational courses to incorporate innovative technologies, research-based pedagogies, systematic assessment strategies and novel approaches to supporting the success of diverse students at scale.


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