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Issue 1, 2014
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Chemistry in context: analysis of thematic chemistry videos available online

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United Nations declared 2011 to be the International Year of Chemistry. The Swedish Chemical Society chose twelve themes, one for each month, to highlight the connection of chemistry with everyday life. Examples of themes were fashion, climate change, love, sports, communication, health issues, and food. From the themes various context-based educational materials were produced. One such educational resource, connecting to students' interests, was the Chemistry Calendar. It mainly contains short videos available on YouTube (also in English). The target group for the videos was secondary school. The videos have been analysed using a research-based analysis model consisting of four fields (pure chemistry; applied chemistry; socio-chemistry; nature of chemistry). The video analysis focuses on content and discourses. For example the images of chemistry and the chemist were examined. The analysis shows that the videos have a number of clear messages that are in line with “chemical literacy”, such as chemistry is all around you, chemistry researchers look different, chemical experiments can be of very different nature, chemistry is important for society, and chemistry has historically had some downsides. The Chemistry Calendar videos are unique and could be very useful in context-based chemistry education. However, their weakness regarding critical and reflective aspects must be compensated for in chemistry teaching, for example by highlighting “excluded environmental aspects” and by placing the videos in the contexts of critical citizenship and global sustainability.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Aug 2013, accepted on 25 Oct 2013 and first published on 25 Oct 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3RP00102D
Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2014,15, 59-69

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    Chemistry in context: analysis of thematic chemistry videos available online

    C. Christensson and J. Sjöström, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2014, 15, 59
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RP00102D

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