EDF5127 - Chemistry education in the secondary years A - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Ms Karen Marangio

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit is part A of a two-part unit and must be taken in conjunction with part B (EDF5128).


This unit prepares students to teach chemistry in secondary schools and colleges both as a specialist unit in senior years (Years 11 and 12) and within the junior science curriculum (Years 7 to 10). A central focus of the unit is for students to use cognitive skills in critical thinking and reflection to build an understanding of the importance of developing an effective pedagogy for teaching chemistry that can be adapted and applied in diverse educational settings. The unit also builds an understanding of problematic chemistry content and the application of evidence-based teaching approaches that better facilitate student learning. Students trial a wide variety of effective teaching strategies including the use of information and communication technology (ICT) skills and techniques essential for establishing a productive and engaging secondary science classroom.

The unit highlights the importance of setting personal and professional goals, engaging with relevant research literature and actively accessing professional learning programs that contribute to the ongoing improvement of one's professional classroom practice. The principles of and methods for assessing and monitoring student learning in chemistry are introduced. The relationship between science, technology and society, the cultural context for chemistry, the nature of chemistry as a discipline, the values that underpin chemistry and the relevance of chemistry to students' lives are recurrent themes explored through readings, class group work, discussion forums and assignments.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. understand appropriate chemistry content for Years 7 to 12 that takes into account the intelligibility, plausibility and fruitfulness of this content
  2. apply contexts for the teaching of chemistry content that accounts for the experiences and social and cultural backgrounds of their clientele
  3. evaluate a range of teaching strategies and support resources (human and material) for teaching chemistry
  4. select and apply a coherent range of teaching procedures appropriate to fostering motivation and purposeful, independent learning in their students
  5. critically understand the principles of curriculum design, the content of current curriculum and the pedagogy of chemistry education
  6. develop an evolving philosophy for what chemistry teaching means
  7. develop an understanding of the relationship between science, technology and society and the cultural context for chemistry
  8. demonstrate critical awareness and understanding of the barriers raised by traditional science and chemistry curricula
  9. value the practice of real-world chemistry
  10. develop as professionals that are knowledgeable, skilful, flexible and compassionate in their practice and who are guided by a sense of social and ethical responsibility.


Research assignment: learning and teaching chemistry (2000 words, 50%)

Learning log (2000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • 2-3 contact hours per week
  2. Additional requirements:
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A minor sequence in chemistry or biochemistry