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Course_thumb Developing expertise in teaching chemistry: Developing and using models (online) Course
Royal Society of Chemistry

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.

Free (Duration: 9 hours)


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Stated learning outcomes for this course

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.


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