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Chemistry Education

Chemistry Education

Chemistry education has in recent decades developed as an identifiable specialism within science education. There are specialist conferences and journals*  for chemistry education, and an international network of academic researchers and scholars concerned with the field.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) recently announced it was inviting proposals for a new book series in chemistry education, the RSC Advances in Chemistry Education series.

Chemistry education research is one area of work within the Science, Technology and Mathematics Education academic group, and is a major aspect of Dr Keith Taber's work.


Chemistry Education Research and Practice

* Dr Taber edits the top research journal in chemistry education, Chemistry Education Research and Practice. Chemistry Education Research and Practice is published by the RSC. The RSC is a registered charity with an educational mission, as well as being a learned society and professional body. Due to generous sponsorship of the journal by the RSC's Education Division, all content in Chemistry Education Research and Practice can be accessed free of charge.


Service to Chemistry Education

Keith Taber served for some years on the committee of the RSC Special Interest Group on Chemical Education Research, including a stint as Chair. He was the RSC's Teacher Fellow in 2000-2001. As well as editing Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Dr Taber is a member of the editorial board for the RSC professional periodical Education in Chemistry. (See Dr. Taber's profile.) Dr Taber has been awarded the RSC's Education Award for his work in chemistry education.


Chemistry Education Scholarship

Keith Taber has written widely about aspects of chemistry education. Some highlights are:

  • Taber, K. S. (2017). Teaching and learning chemistry. In K. S. Taber & B. Akpan (Eds.), Science Education: An International Course Companion (pp. 325-341). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Taber, K. S. (2015). The Role of Conceptual Integration in Understanding and Learning Chemistry. In J. García-Martínez & E. Serrano-Torregrosa (Eds.), Chemistry Education: Best Practices, Opportunities and Trends (pp. 375-394): Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
  • de Jong, O., & Taber, K. S. (2014). The Many Faces of High School Chemistry. In N. Lederman & S. K. Abell (Eds.), Handbook of Research in Science Education, Volume 2 (pp. 457-480). New York: Routledge.
  • Taber, K. S. (2014). The significance of implicit knowledge in teaching and learning chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. doi: 10.1039/C4RP00124A
  • Taber, K. S. (2013). Revisiting the chemistry triplet: drawing upon the nature of chemical knowledge and the psychology of learning to inform chemistry education. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. doi: 10.1039/C3RP00012E
  • Taber, K. S. (2013). A common core to chemical conceptions: learners' conceptions of chemical stability, change and bonding. In G. Tsaparlis & H. Sevian (Eds.), Concepts of Matter in Science Education (pp. 391-418). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Taber, K. S. (Ed.). (2012). Teaching Secondary Chemistry (2nd ed.). London: Hodder Education.
  • Hofstein, A., Levy Nahum, T., Mamlok-Naaman, R., & Taber, K. S. (2010). Teaching and learning the concept of chemical bonding. Studies in Science Education, 46(2), 179-207.
  • Taber, K. S. & García Franco, A. (2010). Learning processes in chemistry: Drawing upon cognitive resources to learn about the particulate structure of matter. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(1), 99-142.
  • Taber, K. S. (2010). Straw men and false dichotomies: Overcoming philosophical confusion in chemical education. Journal of Chemical Education, 87(5), 552-558.
  • Taber, K. S., & Bricheno, P. A. (2009). Coordinating Procedural and Conceptual Knowledge to Make Sense of Word Equations: Understanding the complexity of a 'simple' completion task at the learner's resolution. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15), 2021-2055.
  • Taber, K. S. (2009) College students’ conceptions of chemical stability: The widespread adoption of a heuristic rule out of context and beyond its range of application. International Journal of Science Education, 31(10), 1333-1358.
  • Taber, K. S. (2009). Learning at the symbolic level. Chapter 4, in J. K. Gilbert and D. F. Treagust (Eds.), Multiple Representations in Chemical Education (pp. 75-108). Dordrecht: Springer. ("This chapter…should be required reading for teachers and trainee teachers at all levels", IJSE)
  • Tan, K. C. D., Taber, K. S., Liu, X., Coll, R. K., Lorenzo, M., Li, J., Goh, N.K. and Chia, L.S. (2008). Students' conceptions of ionisation energy: A cross-cultural study. International Journal of Science Education, 30 (2), pp.263-283.
  • Taber, K. S. (2005) Learning quanta: barriers to stimulating transitions in student understanding of orbital ideas. Science Education, 89 (1), pp.94-116.
  • Taber, K. S. (2003) Understanding ionisation energy: physical, chemical and alternative conceptions. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 4 (2), pp.149-169.
  • Taber, K. S. (2003) The atom in the chemistry curriculum: fundamental concept, teaching model or epistemological obstacle? Foundations of Chemistry, 5 (1), pp.43-84.
  • Taber, K. S. (2002) Chemical misconceptions - prevention, diagnosis and cure: Volume 1: theoretical background, London: Royal Society of Chemistry; Volume 2: classroom resources, London: Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Taber, K. S. & Coll, R. (2002) Chemical Bonding, in Gilbert, J. K. et al., (editors) Chemical Education: Research-based Practice, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers BV, pp.213-234.
  • Taber, K. S. (2001) Building the structural concepts of chemistry: some considerations from educational research. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe, 2 (2), pp.123-158.
  • Taber, K. S. (1998) An alternative conceptual framework from chemistry education. International Journal of Science Education, 20 (5), pp.597-608.
  • Taber, K. S. and Watts, M. (1996) The secret life of the chemical bond: students' anthropomorphic and animistic references to bonding. International Journal of Science Education, 18 (5), pp.557-568.

(See a more complete list of Dr Taber's publications.)