Szeto to Discuss Chemical Problem Solving and Conceptual Development

Posted on 3/6/2013 9:35:18 AM

Alan Szeto of Vincennes University will visit faculty and students in the Department of Chemistry on Thursday, March 7, 2013, followed by a research seminar at 3:30 p.m.

Szeto, assistant professor at Vincennes University (formerly Purdue University-Calumet) will present “Toward the Teaching of Authentic Science: Challenges and Opportunities in Chemical Problem Solving and Conceptual Development” at 3:30 in Weyandt 127. All are welcome to attend, and light refreshments will be served.


During the first decade of the 21st century, several significant problems in science education remained ill-defined and underexplored. One of them was that grades 7-14 science experience remained relatively unexciting, unrewarding, and unrelated to students’ everyday lives. On the other hand, considering that authentic science classrooms and instructional laboratories were rarely found across the nation, data on how students learn authentic science and solve authentic problems were difficult to come by. My research on how students learn and how teachers teach both aim at taking steps toward the redevelopment of the high school and introductory college chemistry curriculum to help students achieve, in the same two to three years taking high school chemistry and general chemistry in college, a more in-depth understanding and appreciation of the subject matter. The new curriculum will be the synthesis product between experience in the past three decades in teaching chemical problem-solving and continuing research toward the construction of conceptual roadmaps for the familiar (e.g., atomic structure, forces and energy, and chemical bonding) as well as unfamiliar (e.g., nanoscience) teaching topics.