2018-01-25: Dinner Meeting at CSULA with John Pollard, University of Arizona

January Dinner Meeting

Thursday, January 25, 2018

California State University,
Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Ballroom 3

5151 State University Drive
Los Angles, CA 90032-8202

“Let’s Teach How We Think, Not What We Know – The Chemical Thinking Story”
John Pollard, Ph.D.,
University of Arizona, Tucson

Check-in: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner: 7:00 p.m.
Presentation: 8:00 p.m.

This talk is geared toward all General Chemistry Instructors. John Pollard, Ph.D. will be giving a talk on the story behind developing the Chemical Thinking curriculum that is used for General Chemistry at the University of Arizona. 

Abstract: Despite multiple calls for reform, the curriculum for first-year college chemistry at many universities across the world is still mostly fact-based and encyclopedic, built upon a collection of isolated topics, oriented too much towards the perceived needs of chemistry majors, focused too much on abstract concepts and algorithmic problem solving, and detached from the practices, ways of thinking, and applications of both chemistry research and chemistry education research in the 21st century. This talk will describe an alternative way of conceptualizing the introductory chemistry curriculum for science and engineering majors by shifting the focus from learning chemistry as a body of knowledge to understanding chemistry as a way of thinking. Starting in 2007, we have worked on the development and implementation of a new curriculum intended to: promote deeper conceptual understanding of a minimum core of fundamental ideas instead of superficial
coverage of multiple topics; connect core ideas between the course units by following well-defined learning progressions; introduce students to modern ways of thinking and problem-solving in chemistry; and involve students in realistic decision-making and problem-solving activities. (Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2010, 11, 74–83) 

Biography: Professor Pollard received his B. S. in Chemistry from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. His research is Ligand Effects and Periodic Trends in Metal-Metal Multiple Bonds: Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Electronic Structure by Gas-Phase Photoelectron Spectroscopy. He is Associate Professor of Practice and Interim Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Cost: There will be a BBQ Chicken dinner with salad, roasted red potatoes and grilled corn and Chocolate Granache for dessert. The cost is $27 including tax and tip. Please email Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at office@scalacs.org by Thursday, January 18th if you’d like to attend.

Directions: For a campus map of Cal. State LA, please see http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/maps