The relationships between teaching philosophies and methods in undergraduate organic chemistry
Burns, Jennifer Nicole
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Every teacher has a teaching philosophy whether he or she realizes it. A teaching philosophy is important in knowing what works and what does not work in terms of conveying the material to the students effectively. There are many different philosophies in education, a few main ones being pragmatism, behaviorism, and constructivism. Organic chemistry is a very difficult class student’s encounter in college. Being able to convey these difficult concepts in a manner the students can understand is important in student success. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between teaching philosophies and methods in undergraduate sophomore level organic chemistry. This study was conducted in the Department of Chemistry in a large university in the southeastern United States during the spring semester. The participants of the research study were three male professors who were teaching organic chemistry during the current semester. Their philosophies were determined, first by giving a semi-structured interview, followed by classroom observations to see how their statements matched to their lectures. The three teachers showed evidence of both pragmatism and constructivism in their philosophies, and used similar methods when teaching organic chemistry.