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Vol. 26 No. 4
July-August 2004

Chemistry Clearing House

by Elena S. Gryzlova

See also "When Ideas Become Deeds"
by Natalia P. Tarasova

Last year, a Chemistry Clearing House (CCH) was established at the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (see Sep-Oct 2003 CI, p. 19). The project and its underlying ideas are starting to render tangible outcomes.

The project goals include the adaptation and dissemination of educational materials and pedagogical practices recommended by IUPAC, to teachers in Russia and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Since chemical education problems are mostly regional and differ significantly depending on country and territory, IUPAC is expected to mostly supplement the efforts of national chemical societies and to facilitate the coordination of information exchange. The CCH hopes to provide schools and universities with information on new trends in chemistry education and how to adapt these ideas locally.

In the context of this IUPAC project, the Task Group Chairman Elena S. Gryzlova attended the Mendeleev Congress, held in September 2003 in Kazan. Dr. Gryzlova made an oral presentation describing the project, and displayed a poster titled “Realization of Scientific Education Ideas in Chemistry Education.” Around the same time, a seminar for teachers was organized on micro-chemical experiments. The seminar was taught by Prof. John Bradley on the premises of the Chemical Technology University. Bradley’s presentation was translated into Russian and a more practical Q&A session was held on how to conduct microchemistry in the school classroom and laboratory. During the event, teachers were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their specific needs and their interest in foreign methods of teaching chemistry.

An important impetus for this project is the educational reform that is taking place in Russia. Of particular relevance are two programs: one called Development of Unified Educational Informational Media (2001-2005) and another called Integration of Science and High Education in Russia for 2002-2006. CCH can provide significant help meeting the goals of these programs by accomplishing the following:

  • documenting the educational programs of Russia and other countries, from primary schools up through universities
  • disseminating foreign methodological literature to teachers who have no easy access to the information available in most “university” cities, such as Moscow, Sankt-Petersburg, or Kazan
  • advocating chemical scientific education at every level and educational strategy coordination between Russia and CIS
  • supporting the development and dissemination of new educational technologies, including distance education

While the Internet is still not widely accessible in some Russian schools, the CCH initiated the development of a Web site designed to make translations and other relevant materials more easily available. The first documents will include publications from the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation regarding chemical education and integration of science and education, the translation of the most recent IUPAC Committee on Chemical Education (CCE) chairman’s report to the IUPAC Council (Ottawa, August 2003), other information concerning CCE and its subcommittees, and translation of selected articles from Chemical Education International, such as “Systemic Approach to Teaching and Learning Chemistry,” by A. F. M. Fahmy and J. J. Lagowski.

Among others, contacts have been formalized with the Department of General Education of Ministry of Education of RF (Russian Federation), the Department of International Cooperation of Ministry of Education of RF, the Research Institute of Russian Academy of Education, the Scientific research institutes of Russian Academy of Sciences.

Several publications papers related to this project have been submitted for publication or will soon be published in Khimiya: Metodika Prepodavaniya (Chemistry: Methods of Teaching Chemistry), Khimiya v Shkole (Chemistry in School), and Chemical Education International. An abstract has been submitted for a presentation at the Sixth International Symposium “TECHNOMAT & INFOTEL,” to be held in Bulgaria, in September 2004. A proposal titled “Organization of Consulting Methodological Center on Chemistry Education” has been submitted to a contest on innovative ideas, concepts, projects, programs, and technologies, sponsored by the Russian Educational Forum.

For more information, contact Elena S. Gryzlova <ncrc@geokhi.ru>. The task group expresses continued interest in obtaining from chemistry teachers all over the world, descriptions of methodological and pedagogical experiences that could serve teachers in Russia and the CIS.

www.iupac.org/projects/2001/2001-003-5-050.html


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