Developing expertise in teaching chemistry: Developing and using models (online)

Provider: Royal Society of Chemistry
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Description This course looks at developing and using models, from the introduction of core ideas to addressing common misconceptions. It includes access to a range of activities and resources to support students' learning.
Duration 9 hours

Royal Society of Chemistry's website
Categories Primary, Secondary, Higher, Teaching and Learning, Early Years/Foundation, Sciences, Further education, 14-19, KS3, KS4, Management, Teaching staff, Online, Physics, Biology, Chemistry
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

Our courses are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of key concepts in teaching chemistry. Each course can be completed at your own pace, giving you time to try out new strategies and activities in your classroom before progressing further. The course will allow you to learn about the key concepts in that area and access ideas and resources to enhance your classroom teaching.

Chemistry is the study of materials both on the macroscopic and microscopic levels. Chemists use models to try and explain their observations as they formulate theories. As new data becomes available, chemists evaluate the model they are using and if necessary go on to refine it by making modifications.  In this module you will learn about some of the processes involved in developing, using and assessing a model. These processes will be illustrated by examples, from a range of different chemical contexts such as the particle nature of matter, balancing equations, equilibria, structure and bonding. The ‘using models’ thread of ideas shows the progression and development of the associated core ideas from upper primary aged students through to post-16 students and beyond. Within the thread, the particle theory of matter is used to illustrate the core ideas.

​After working through this course you will:

  • develop an understanding of the difficulties faced by students when trying to link macroscopic observations to microscopic explanations;
  • appreciate how the key ideas of modelling develop and progress throughout secondary education;
  • become more confident and competent in using models as a key idea in the teaching of chemistry to secondary aged students; and
  • be equipped with a range of activities and resources to support students in developing their ideas about models.
Evidence underpinning this approach

This topic was selected as it looks at developing and using models from the introduction of core ideas to addressing common misconceptions. By improving teacher confidence with the topic, student confidence should also improve.

How users/participants can evaluate success

Learning outcomes have been designed by highly qualified course authors, in conjunction with the Royal Society of Chemistry, with the target audience in mind. The course content has been written to achieve the learning outcomes and there are opportunities for self-assessment included within the course.

Within the course there is a course development plan that can be used to stipulate aims and impact. It also includes space to reflect on these at the end of the course

Follow-up activities and support

The course includes links to articles and resources to support lesson planning for teaching the topic, following the course.


This online course allows participants to access the material remotely, which means less time away from the classroom, as there is no travel involved. This means no costs will arise through travel or cover for teaching time. Participants can work through the material at their own pace and there is the functionality to “dip in and out” of the material.

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.