JC Chemistry Tutor - Keeping Teaching Simple by Mr Khemistry
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16th November 2018

JC Chemistry Tutor – Keeping Teaching Simple

JC Chemistry Tutor – Keeping Teaching Simple

As a teacher who teaches chemistry at advanced level, it isn’t easy to simplify core chemistry ideas and deliver it to students with a lasting impact.

With the advent of information technology, we are constantly seduced by the “bells and whistles”. Things which grabs students’ attention momentarily but doesn’t leave them a lesson they wouldn’t forget. As an educator, it is easy to teach content because we already know the content. However, to teach in a way that students grasp the core idea and remembers it long after the lesson takes a gargantuan amount of effort from a JC chemistry tutor these days.

I’ve recently read a book by Chip and Dan Heath titled “Made to Stick”, it contains a section which is addressed to teachers. I will share some of the lessons gleaned from the book in this post and a few more posts. 

“To make an idea simple, first find the core […]then anchor it in knowledge that your students already have.” – quote from the book “Made to Stick”.

I will try to implement this in my lessons next year, find the one core idea that i want every student to learn for the lesson. Then use their prior knowledge from secondary school to anchor this new idea.

A few challenges i can foresee:

  1. Advanced H2 syllabus specifically requires students to explain concepts using scientific terminology. This means they HAVE to use key words and phrases. 
  2. Numerous concepts to cover but i only see them once a week, limiting the lesson to one core idea will be challenging.
  3. Abstract chemistry concepts that does not extend from prior knowledge from secondary level.

Even though there are challenges, this is a goal i will strive towards in 2019. To make my lessons “stick”.

I will leave you with a short clip from 3 idiots, the movie.

JC Chemistry Tutor, Mr Khemistry

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