Innovating Undergraduate General Chemistry by Integrating Sustainability-related Socio-Scientific Issues
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Keywords:Action research, Undergraduate Education, chemistry education, Socio-Scientific Issues
Many general chemistry courses in U.S. undergraduate education focus on decontextualized content learning, driven by a structure-of-the-discipline approach. Due to this approach, many students perceive general chemistry to be of low relevance to their educations, their lives, and society as a whole. This paper reflects a process of innovation for the integration of sustainability-related socio-scientific issues into U.S. undergraduate general chemistry courses to make chemistry learning more meaningful and relevant to the learners. The innovation originated from teaching and learning materials developed in Germany. Digital learning environments were created on hydraulic fracturing and phosphate recovery, two hot socio-scientific issues, which were then transferred, adapted, and implemented in the USA. This paper reflects selected students’ feedback and how this process initiated ongoing curriculum innovation.
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