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Chapter 7

Tips and Tricks: Practical Ways to Develop Teaching

The central focus of this chapter is on some practical ways by which the sub-micro and the representational can build on the macro level. This illustrates approaches by which the restrictions related to the limited capacity of working memory can be minimised. We are seeking to develop a population that understands something of the great contribution chemistry has made in the development of societies. This has to focus on generating an understanding about how the molecular world works. Working memory needs to be central in our thinking about curriculum design, teaching order, ways of presentation and ways of assessment. Each of these four areas is considered and examples of approaches that have been found to be useful are given. In all this, the triangle model is a useful guide to our thinking. The developments range from some basic ideas in the very earliest days of chemistry learning at school level right up to ways by which thermodynamics can be made real to learners. In many areas, new models have been developed over the years. Some were very simple. Some were physical, some were diagrams. The goal throughout was to reduce the demands on limited working memory resources so that genuine understanding of the molecular world might be gained. The goal is the development of sound mental models of reality.

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29 Jan 2021
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