Simplified or erroneous? It’s a fine line

Lim, Kieran Fergus 2013, Simplified or erroneous? It’s a fine line, Chemistry in Australia, vol. 2013, no. July, pp. 35-35.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title Simplified or erroneous? It’s a fine line
Alternative title Education: simplified or erroneous? It’s a fine line
Author(s) Lim, Kieran FergusORCID iD for Lim, Kieran Fergus
Journal name Chemistry in Australia
Volume number 2013
Issue number July
Start page 35
End page 35
Total pages 1
Publisher Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0314-4240
Keyword(s) chemical education
scientific literacy
alternative conceptions
Summary Novice learners need to have simplified explanations because they are unable to understand fuller, more-involved explanations. However, there is a dangerously thin line between simplified explanations and over-simplified erroneous explanations, which lead to later misunderstandings and misconceptions. It is harder to unlearn misunderstandings and misconceptions, than to learn something new ab initio.

It is virtually impossible for any teacher to know everything that students will need for future study and careers, as each subject will lead to a myriad of pathways. For example, in my undergraduate 1st year class, students will go into numerous majors across more than 16 degree programs ranging from arts to zoology and from engineering to food-and-nutrition. 

The present subject is part of the foundation for many possible pathways, but it is extremely difficult for a single teacher to know about all of them, or to know about specialist topics developed in later years. Thus, to prevent over-simplifications and misconceptions, there is need for partnerships between the teacher in the present subject and employers, researchers, industrial scientists and teachers from later in the educational and career pathway. These vertical partnerships or advisory groups can help teachers to access information from later in the pathway, so that these teachers have a greater appreciation of the subtleties and the whys of what they teach.

Not everything is in the textbook. Indeed, this is implicit in the new National Curriculum, in which students have to learn about the culture of science as part of Science as a Human Endeavour (SHE). We need more partnership and cooperation between the teachers, who are pedagogy specialists, and researchers and industry scientists, who are the content knowledge specialists.
Language eng
Field of Research 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130103 Higher Education
130106 Secondary Education
Socio Economic Objective 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C4 Letter or note
Copyright notice ©2013, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Persistent URL

Connect to link resolver
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 271 Abstract Views, 6 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 21 Oct 2013, 22:23:55 EST by Kieran Lim

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact