Teaching GCSE Chemistry

Cathy Bear A-level Physics Tutor (South West London)
By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: GCSE Chemistry
Last updated: 08/01/2012
Average Rating: rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star-grey rating-star-grey (from 1 Ratings)
Tags: aqa, edexcel, gcse chemistry, ocr
GCSE Chemistry

Chemistry has always been my favourite subject, my passion. At school I joined the chemistry club in year 7 and was delighted by the pops and bangs and fizzles that you couldn't see in any other class. By year 11 I was running it, and when I changed schools for sixth form, I once again ran the chemistry club and I also become president of the chemistry society which involved organising lecturers to come in and give short talks on new research and topics around those on our curriculum.

Naturally not everyone found chemistry as interesting as I did; however, I do find that the odd explosion will pique anyone's interest. Therefore I think that a good way to teach chemistry, particularly to younger students, is to firstly show them applications of it. That way, chemistry is not just a jumble of elements in a table, it's the explanation of how a camera works, or how a metal is made, or the reason why a flame is green not yellow. In this day and age, none of the above requires a laboratory to show to a student as there is footage of almost every experiment on Earth on youtube if you look for it. For example, this youtube clip shows the a very common but also incredibly fun experiment in which one mixes menthos and diet coke (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKoB0MHVBvM).  So I believe that the first step to effectively teaching chemistry is to get your student interested in the subject.

After you have their interest I think that some resources other than the bog standard textbook are required. I personally like the BBC website, GCSE Bitesize (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/), as it is interactive and has revision and test sections to help the student learn at home. It is very simple and easy to use, and effective as a teaching tool as well. Of course there are many sites out there and the trick is to explore and find a site that matches the student's working style and enables them to learn most effectively.

I hope that you found this brief article on teaching students chemistry, and indeed science in general, interesting and useful.




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Article Comments

kayode Image
Posted by kayode on 2012-12-17 14:32:28

its interesting to be a chemist, please how can i download this text book

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