STAO Conference Papers:
One of the aims of the chemical education research project is to provide information of relevance to high school teachers. While the primary focus is obviously on students taking chemistry, much of this information will be equally applicable to other science subjects.
Preliminary findings, suggestions, and recommendations for teachers have been presented at the Science Teacher’s Association of Ontario (STAO) conferences. Some of the talks and handouts can be downloaded here. Please feel free to download and print copies of any of the materials you find on this page – just send a quick e-mail or letter to say you have done so! Comments, questions, and suggestions are also welcomed.
Note: further details can be found in other presentations which are also available for download.
“Why Good Students Fail”
This presentation builds on the survey work described in earlier STAO talks, but starts addressing factors contributing to the variation in student performance in first-year compared to high school beyond grades and demographics.
In particular, it addresses the particular question of why chemistry is often perceived by students as a ‘hard’ subject in terms of intellectual development (using Piagetian descriptors) and alternate (naive) concepts or misconceptions. In addition to the handout for the talk, the following links provide direct access to many of the articles and resources mentioned in the presentation.
- Annotated Session Handout including all the examples, references, and links from the original presentation
- David C. Stone, Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 2010, 3, 133-139. This paper gives a good general introduction to the research project from which this presentation is partly derived.
- R. H. Tai, P. M. Sadler and J. F. Loehr, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2005, 42(9), 987-1012. The primary article on the chemistry component of the US Factors in College Science Success (FICSS) research study.
- R. H. Tai and P. M. Sadler, Journal of Chemical Education, 2007, 84(6), 1040-1046. Analysis of the data from the US FICSS study relevant to teaching practice (although some caution should be applied to interpreting the results)
- FICSS Study main web site: includes an interesting video quiz on science teaching practices.
- FICSS Study Published Articles: a complete list (with links to pdf copies) of the articles from the US FICSS study.
- Information for prospective students concerning 1st-year chemistry at the U of T St. George campus (expand the "Prospective Students" item on the left-hand side for the full list of pages)
- Specific information for CHM138, CHM139, & CHM151, as well as a quick comparison chart
- College Mathematics Project final reports for 2007-2009 (includes important comments on study skills of especial importance to students intending to take science in college or university)
- Meyer & Land ETL Report 4, “Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge”
- Chapter 2 of Introducing Neuroeducational Research on “neuromyths”
- Coffield, Moseley, Hall & Eccleston, “Learning Styles and Pedagogy in Post-16 Learning: A Systematic and Critical Review”, Learning & Skills Research Centre, 2004. Anyone interested in learning styles should read this review first!
- Coffield, Moseley, Hall & Eccleston, “Should we be using learning styles? What research has to say to practice”, Learning & Skills Research Centre, 2004. A companion piece to the review article listed above.
- David Perkins’ article on constructivism and troublesome knowledge
- J. Chem. Ed. Question Bank including the Chemistry Concepts Inventory (CCI) questions and answers (the last section on that page).
- New York Times article on heat by Harold McGee
- Keith E. Stanovich, “Rational and Irrational Thought: The Thinking that IQ Tests Miss”, Scientific American Mind, 2009, Nov/Dec. issue, 34-39.
- Prof. Maggie Toplak on The Agenda: What IQ Tests Miss (a discussion of rationality quotient)
Previous STAO Conferences:
- STAO 2008 Annotated Slides – this provides copies of the key slides along with expanded notes and references for the November 2008 STAO presentation, “What Do I Tell My Students?”
- STAO 2007 Slides – this provides copies of the slides only from the November 2007 presentation, “How well does high school prepare you for university chemistry?”