"Chemistry of Tomorrow" should be part of the school chemistry of today
Dr. Ron Blonder
Postdocs and students
I believe that the "Chemistry of Tomorrow" should be part of the school chemistry of today. I therefore would like to introduce aspects of contemporary chemistry to school chemistry and adapt the teaching methodology to the 21st century modes of students' learning. To respond to the educational challenges that these goals raise, it is necessary: (a) to study and develop ways of teaching students contemporary content and authentic processes of science, and (b) to investigate ways of providing chemistry teachers with continuous professional development by updating their scientific content knowledge (CK), their pedagogic content knowledge (PCK), and their technology pedagogic content knowledge (TPCK). Another characteristic of the 21st century, which I would like to examine, is how the rapid creation of information and its high accessibility influences how chemistry teachers interact with gifted students in their own regular chemistry class. My research focuses on various pedagogical aspects involving the interaction of chemistry teachers and their students with contemporary science. This interaction raises many questions worth studying: In what ways are teachers and students able to study advanced contemporary scientific topics? What support is needed to make the learning meaningful? How do teachers develop pedagogical content knowledge for new learned scientific content? How do they transfer the new knowledge to their students? Are the teachers able to better interact with the gifted students in their class when they are "equipped" with updated scientific knowledge? Are they able to integrate advanced technology methods into their teaching? These questions describe the focus of the research that I perform together with the members of my research group.