Summary of Pedagogical Methods

This semester I have employed several pedagogical techniques in my teaching chemistry. I’m always experimenting and looking for new ways to engage students and increase their understanding of the subject content. The following is some pedagogical methods I have use in the teaching and learning of chemistry this semester.

Here is a link to the pedagogical methods that I have use in my classroom this semester. The link also includes other thoughts and opinions that I have blogged.

Student led instruction
At times, students took on the role of the instructor where each student explained certain concept(s) to the rest of the class. Student led instruction was not always planned, therefore the students were aware that they needed to always be prepared for the task.

Different ways of knowing
Milne (2011) wrote ““understanding and explanation exist in a dialectical relationship,” and “we need understanding to make an explanation but we also need explanations for understanding.” Many students enter the classroom with ways of knowing and understanding that is different from that of the instructor. I try to be aware of the various ways of knowing and explaining science. Some students have a different way of explaining concepts that may be considered as inaccurate to others. I believe that there are multi ways of knowing in science and I very strongly encourage students’ way(s) of explaining concepts. This semester, some students explained concepts that were not textbook approved. Nevertheless, their way(s) of understanding and teaching concept(s) made sense to all in the classroom including myself.

Mindfulness in the classroom
Our school in located in one of the busy cities in America. Many of my students attend school fulltime, work (some of them fulltime), have kids, family and other salient matters to tend to. They have plans on being successful in school to secure that ideal job. However, many of them (probably all) experience different levels of stress, which can detract from them being successful in the classroom (and life). This semester, I tried a deep breathing exercise with my students and I was pleased that most of them found it to be relaxing and useful. With some modifications, I intend to continue this exercise in my future classes.

Formative Assessment
This semester, I have done a “series of checkpoints (formative assessment)” to assess students growth. The assessments are really for both instructor and students to gain a better understanding on well the student is doing and what can be done to help the student improve.


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