Learning progressions and teaching sequences in chemistry education

You are invited to submit contributions to the Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP) special themed issue on learning progressions and teaching sequences in chemistry education, scheduled for publication in autumn 2018.

2018 themed issue

Students’ learning development has been researched for decades in several traditions, including Didaktiks and teaching experiments, theory of mind and metacognitive development, conceptual change and epistemology, and sociocultural development. Insights from these lines of research have contributed to a surge in the past decade of research on learning progressions and teaching sequences.

Learning progressions are generally defined as hypotheses of pathways of learning over an extended period of time (eg years) that can be validated empirically. Teaching sequences are plans for instruction that guide learning through intended pathways. While the entry points of studying learning progressions and teaching sequences may differ, they share the goal of tackling large concepts fundamental to the domain – in our case, in chemistry. They intersect in at least two important ways: it is assumed some learning pathways are better than others, and the assessment of learning is tantamount to validating proposed models.

There has also been considerable criticism of research on learning progressions and teaching sequences. Critics have pointed out learning is complex, therefore difficult to reduce to linear, monotonic growth; learning is idiosyncratic, therefore inextricably tied to context; learning is not separable from epistemological beliefs or affects, therefore demands attention to these; and learning depends on instruction, therefore the variety in teachers’ own content knowledge, beliefs about instruction, and assessment stances needs to be taken into account.

This themed issue intends to illustrate the bandwidth of research on learning progressions and teaching sequences in the domain of chemistry, varying across educational levels, and focusing on a variety of aspects relevant to these areas of study. Together, the papers can offer perspective on both advantages and pitfalls in the construction of learning pathways in chemistry and approaches to the assessment of learning in chemistry that make possible the validation of models that can advance chemistry education.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Design-based cycles involving various stakeholders in developing learning progressions and teaching sequences (eg participatory action research cycles)
  • Comparisons of different developmental patterns of learning (eg linear v recursive)
  • Incorporation of pedagogical and structural features associated with the learning environment (eg epistemology, teachers’ assessment stances) into the design and study of learning progressions and teaching sequences
  • Qualitative and quantitative analytical methods for addressing idiosyncrasies and variety in learning pathways
  • Teaching experiments to foster students’ abilities to reason in different contexts in learning pathways
  • Theoretical and methodological treatments that address aspects (eg granularity, scope) of the usefulness of the products of these research efforts

Articles should:

  • Align with the principles and quality criteria of the journal
  • Provide an argument for new knowledge supported by careful analysis of evidence
  • Be situated in existing literature, and either report the meaningful analysis of carefully collected research data or the rigorous evaluation of innovative practice

Guest editors

The guest editors for this themed issue are:

  • Hannah Sevian (Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Boston, US)
  • Sascha Bernholt (Leibniz-Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, University of Kiel, Germany)

Submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts should be submitted in the format required using the ScholarOne online manuscript submission platform.

General guidance on whether the theme of a contribution falls within the scope of the journal may be found in a published editorial. Enquiries concerning the suitability of topics of potential contributions for the theme issue should be sent directly by email to one of the theme editors: Hannah Sevian or Sascha Bernholt.

Acceptance and publication

Manuscripts should be submitted by Monday 15 January 2018 to be eligible for consideration in the theme issue. All manuscripts will be subject to editorial screening and peer review. Manuscripts received after the deadline may still be considered for the theme issue, but the usual peer review process will not be compromised to reach decisions on publication. If such articles are accepted for publication too late to be included in the theme issue, they will be included in a subsequent issue.

As with other CERP contributions, articles intended for the theme issue will be published as advance articles online as soon as they have been set and proofs have been checked, ahead of publication in the theme issue itself. Authors also have the option of accepted manuscript publication, where a pdf of their accepted manuscript is published immediately after acceptance (to be substituted by the professionally set and proofed copy once available).

This call for papers is available as a pdf.

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CERP 2017 theme issue: Call for papers

Themed Issue: Autumn 2017

Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue on Developments of key skills and attributes in chemistry education

Employers have long urged universities to equip their graduates with a range of key professional skills and graduate attributes and many universities articulate ‘graduateness’ in terms of graduate attributes and statements. These skills and attributes encompass, for example, critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, information skills, team work, use of technology, intercultural awareness, lifelong learning, creativity and leadership, amongst others. However, meaningful development of these skills and attributes alongside subject knowledge is challenging and requires a shift in curriculum design and pedagogy. In this special themed issue we will focus on the development of key professional skills  and graduate attributes within undergraduate degree programmes.

Visit www.rsc.li/AboutCERP for full details.

Guest Editors: David McGarvey1 and Tina Overton2,

1 Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, Keele University, UK

2 School of Chemistry, Monash University,  Australia

Submission of papers

Manuscripts should be submitted by 9 January 2017 for consideration in the theme issue. All manuscripts will be subject to editorial screening and peer review.

Enquiries concerning the suitability of contributions should be sent directly by email to David McGarveyd.j.mcgarvey and/or Tina Overtontina.overton@monash.edu

Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP)

CERP is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s international peer-reviewed journal for teachers, researchers and other practitioners of chemistry education. Editor:  Dr Keith S Taber, University of Cambridge, UK

The journal is sponsored by the RSC’s Education Division and

  • is free to access
  • has no page or submission charges for authors.

Coverage includes

  • research, and reviews of research, in chemistry education
  • effective practice in the teaching of chemistry
  • analyses of issues of direct relevance to chemistry education
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CERP 2016 theme issue: Call for papers

Themed Issue: Autumn 2016

Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue on Language and the teaching and learning of chemistry

For a long time language and science in general were two distinct domains that were seen as opposite to each other. However, the importance of language connected to science education in general and chemistry in particular is well known, especially when we are discussing the teaching and learning of the language(s) of chemistry or the linguistic heterogeneity of students. In this special themed issue we will focus on the learning and teaching of chemistry considering the role of language.

Visit www.rsc.li/AboutCERP for full details.

Guest Editors: Silvija Markic1 and Peter Childs2,

1 Institute of Didactics of Science Education – University of Bremen, Germany

2 University of Limerick, Ireland

Submission of papers

Manuscripts should be submitted by 11 January 2016 for consideration in the theme issue. All manuscripts will be subject to editorial screening and peer review.

Enquiries concerning the suitability of contributions should be sent directly by email to Silvija Markicsmarkic@uni-bremen.de and/or Peter Childspeter.childs@ul.ie

Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP)

CERP is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s international peer-reviewed journal for teachers, researchers and other practitioners of chemistry education. Editor:  Dr Keith S Taber, University of Cambridge, UK

The journal is sponsored by the RSC’s Education Division and

  • is free to access
  • has no page or submission charges for authors.

Coverage includes

  • research, and reviews of research, in chemistry education
  • effective practice in the teaching of chemistry
  • analyses of issues of direct relevance to chemistry education
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6th Eurovariety in Chemistry Education 2015, Tartu, Estonia

A date for your diary:

June, 30 – July, 2  2015

Theme: Chemistry  Education  for Responsible Citizenship and Employability

More information: https://sisu.ut.ee/eurovariety/avaleht

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Variety in Chemistry Education / Physics Higher Education Conference 2015

20-21 August 2015, University of Nottingham

First announcement from Ross Galloway, University of Edinburgh

A friendly, inclusive and informal meeting where participants share
evidence-based practice in teaching physics and chemistry, discuss
innovative approaches and explore pedagogic research.  Oral presentations,
short oral bites and workshops will be available.  Invitations to contribute
and the conference website coming soon!… so whether you are an ‘old hand’
or new to the area – save the date!

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CERP 2016 theme issue: Call for papers

Themed Issue: Autumn 2016

Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue on Language and the teaching and learning of chemistry

For a long time language and science in general were two distinct domains that were seen as opposite to each other. However, the importance of language connected to science education in general and chemistry in particular is well known, especially when we are discussing the teaching and learning of the language(s) of chemistry or the linguistic heterogeneity of students. In this special themed issue we will focus on the learning and teaching of chemistry considering the role of language.

Visit www.rsc.li/AboutCERP for full details.

Guest Editors: Silvija Markic1 and Peter Childs2,

1 Institute of Didactics of Science Education – University of Bremen, Germany

2 University of Limerick, Ireland

Submission of papers

Manuscripts should be submitted by 11 January 2016 for consideration in the theme issue. All manuscripts will be subject to editorial screening and peer review.

Enquiries concerning the suitability of contributions should be sent directly by email to Silvija Markicsmarkic@uni-bremen.de and/or Peter Childspeter.childs@ul.ie

Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP)

CERP is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s international peer-reviewed journal for teachers, researchers and other practitioners of chemistry education. Editor:  Dr Keith S Taber, University of Cambridge, UK

The journal is sponsored by the RSC’s Education Division and

  • is free to access
  • has no page or submission charges for authors.

Coverage includes

  • research, and reviews of research, in chemistry education
  • effective practice in the teaching of chemistry
  • analyses of issues of direct relevance to chemistry education
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Bursary opportunity to attend US conference

Chemistry Education: Activating Research

Pedagogical research in Higher Education (HE) science education in the USA is much better funded than it is in the UK. As a result, there appears to be a greater range of high quality pedagogical research in HE in the USA, yet contact and collaboration between researchers there and the UK is limited. To help address this situation and to work towards raising the profile of research in this area in the UK, an initiative from the Education Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry offers you a chance to widen your contacts and explore the research in the USA.

The RSC has up to 6 bursaries of £1500 per applicant are available to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and registration of attending a major conference in the USA. In 2014 bursary winners attended the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Grand Valley State University in August, http://www.bcce2014.org.

2014 bursary winner, Julie Hyde from the University of Hull said:

What an amazing opportunity it was to attend BCCE 2014! I learnt a lot from the sessions I attended, which I plan to take back and introduce into my teaching and share new ideas with my colleagues. It was a great learning curve and has given me the opportunity to gain many new ideas and have a better understanding of pedagogic research. I made two company links regarding software and have been in touch since I returned home. It was a super chance to network internationally and I appreciate being able to make the new links I did. Thanks very much to the HE division at the RSC for the award of this RSC Education Activating Research bursary.

Apply now for 2015!

The closing date for 2015 applications is 23 February. There is not much time left! you can find  Application forms and more information at www.rsc.org/Membership/Networking/InterestGroups/EducationDivision/Sponsorship.asp.

Karen

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John Garratt

Dear Colleagues

I have received the following message from one of our founder editors, Stephen Breuer, which I pass on to you all.

Kind regards

Karen

Dear Karen and Keith

It was with great sadness that I heard today about the death of John
Garratt on 5.1.15. His involvement was before your time here, Karen, but
I am sure Keith remembers him well. He was a pioneer in chemistry
education, especially in the Higher Education field, the founder and
early organiser
of the Variety meetings, the founder editor of

University Chemistry Education, which became part of ‘new’ CERP.

Best regards,

Stephen

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Getting Started in Pedagogic Research

A new guide has just been published – Getting started in Pedagogic Research within the STEM disciplines edited by Michael Grove and Tina Overton.

Following the National HE STEM Programme, this guide has been produced in response to enthusiasm from those in the STEM sector and those looking for support to undertake pedagogic research.

It promises to be an invaluable guide for those aiming to begin pedagogic research within the STEM disciplines, covering key topics from framing your research questions to securing funding and writing for publication.

Contributions come from George Brown, Lou Comerford Boyes, Sarah Edmunds, Ross Galloway, Duncan Lawson and Joe Kyle.

The guide is available from the University of Birmingham STEM Education Centre.

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CERP is free to access

Recently, we have found out through the Twittersphere, that there may be some confusion about what ‘free to access’ means in relation to access to CERP.

Unlike many others journals, CERP is free to access – at the RSC we believe that support for best practice in chemistry education should be available to all. This does not mean that CERP is free to produce or that its submissions are any lower in quality than those in in subscription journals. Quite the contrary, CERP is a peer-reviewed journal, published to the highest standards and this work is sponsored by the RSC Education Division Council.

We ask you to create an account and login to read and download full articles or comment on a blog post. This is completely free. When you create an account, you help us collect vital information about you, our audience, so that we understand your needs as readers and provide you with the best possible service.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me.

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