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The -ills of Educational Reform

By Brian P. Coppola

Abstract

Many instructors have sincerely accepted problem solving and critical thinking as instructional objectives. This kind of language, especially notions of the liberal-arts values of taking college classes, is used in compelling ‘first day of class’ pep talks. Increasing the scientific literacy of an educated voting citizenry has also been persistent ‘Day 1’ rhetoric, beginning with preparing students in the post-War Atomic Age and continuing through today’s concern for environmental and biotechnological issues. Unfortunately, too often little happens on days 2 through 40 (a typical number of class meetings in a semester) to fulfill the expectations and promises laid out on the first day. Why is this connection so difficult to achieve? Part of the answer can be found in the difference between the intellectual change that characterizes Day 1 when an instructor may possess the knowledge (skill) for what needs to be done and the behavioral changes (will) that are needed on Days 2-to-40. A brief historical application of these ideas as they pertain to the current cycle of chemical education reform is provided

Publisher: Springer-Verlag; Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s00897980162-X
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/45959
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