Integrated Approaches in Chemistry Education

Professor Mitchell Bruce

Panoramic view of chemistry lab

This project reviewed the chemistry content included and made adjustments to ensure alignment with NGSS. It also strengthened the teaching of modeling and multiple representations as they apply to teaching middle and high school chemistry.

The course enhancements were enacted in spring of 2016 and were integrated into a major class project involving the development of a curriculum piece, designed for middle or high school students, that is taught in the SMT 598 class near the end of the semester. The enhancement involved a focus on NGSS standards appropriate to the age level of the lesson, and video capture of 3-5 min presentations that was used to inform discussions on effective instructional practices. The curriculum piece involved identifying a chemical concept, and completeing a literature review to investigate the misconceptions associated with the concept, and effective research-based instructional practices. As part of the project, students developed an active learning, inquiry-based classroom activity, that included an assessment piece. The course enhancement involved iterating a consideration of NGSS standards through written assignments and classroom discussion.  As the curriculum piece was developed over the semester, short portions of the proposed lesson were captured on videotape, played back in class, and discussed. The curriculum project culminated with an end-of-term paper that outlined research literature, the process of instructional classroom design, and an assessment of the classroom activity. The course enhancement also included a section of the term paper that is devoted to NGSS practices (including cross cutting concepts) and opportunities to improve the curriculum piece.


Two girls working on a chemistry lab