Vol. 28 No. 1
Flying Chemists Program—A Visit to India
In July 2005, Professors Peter Atkins and Ram Lamba (IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education [CCE] and Subcommittee on Chemistry Education for Development) participated in a one-week program in India coordinated by Professor K.V. Sane. The program included seminars and discussions with academics, industrial houses, and government agencies. The aim of this visit—the first under the new CCE Flying Chemists Program—was to identify viable strategies for professional development of in-service and pre-service teachers. These strategies include the design of an Internet-linked system that will equip chemistry teachers with some of the skills needed to become an effective teacher—specifically, skills related to promoting student interest by using a discovery-based approach to teaching and learning.
During the week-long program, lectures, workshops, and interactive sessions were presented for an audience that included teachers, principals, and school management. The program was organized by the DAV College Management Society and the Gujarat Education Society. The two societies have a combined network of more than 600 schools and colleges across India.
A follow-up project on capacity building, drafted by Professor Sane in consultation with Professors Atkins and Lamba, will integrate relevant portions of the proposals on microscale chemistry and e-quizzes and will focus on:
- curriculum development
- development of new assessment tools
- design and implementation of hands-on experiences at all levels of chemistry education, using the microscale approach wherever feasible
- promotion of partnerships among universities, between universities and industries, and among universities, industries, and governments
- development of self-learning and self-assessment approaches based on state-of-the-art technological tools; this exercise will yield items to be included in a Question Bank set up by teachers for fellow teachers
- creation of international and intranational networks for real and virtual partnerships for sharing and monitoring innovative practices
The project will attempt to revitalize the teaching-learning process through an e-cooperative formed by teachers for teachers.
For more information contact Task Group Chairman K.V. Sane <[email protected]>.
What is the Flying Chemists Program?
In January 2005, the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) embarked on a new initiative: the Flying Chemists Program (FCP). The aim of the program is to help emerging countries improve the teaching and learning of chemistry at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. FCP will provide a country with the expertise needed to strengthen its chemistry education program and will assist in the program’s development.
FCP will generally be implemented in economically disadvantaged countries. The host country will provide boarding and lodging for the FCP experts, and CCE will provide the airfare. Visits will be considered only if invitations are received from a national society, a ministry of education or technology, or other comparable organization.
FCP is intended to:
- assist in the development of curricula
- help develop or recommend new assessment tools
- help develop different approaches to the teaching of chemistry, including hand-on experiences
- help develop and implement teacher training and preparation programs
- assist in the establishment of partnerships among universities, industries, and governments
- develop successful international conferences to gain expert advice on a particular aspect of chemistry education
- help identify and approach sources of funding
The host country is expected to make thorough preparations for the visit and to coordinate all activities related to achieving the specific goals and objectives of the visit. In addition, the host country should plan meetings with academics, industry representatives, and government agencies in order to identify future viable strategies for strengthening chemistry education.
For more information, contact Program Coordinator and CCE Subcommittee on Chemistry Education for Development Chairman Ram S. Lamba <[email protected]>.
last modified 6 January 2006.
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