Over the years I have found that students who don’t like science usually are those whohave not had successful experiences in science. For the last 10 years of my teaching I havedeveloped a way to help them learn the work that they thought they could not understand. Idid not water down the contents, and they appreciated that when they found out they coulddo as well as any of their classmates. What I did was to teach them how to learn science. Idid not teach them science. They learned it on their own. To begin a unit of study I wouldintroduce a topic by asking them to do an investigation in the lab. They would makecritical observations, ask about apparent contradictions in their work, and draw conclusionsfrom their observations. Inevitably, their work led them to ask more questions in other areas of studies, and they had to read books, search the Internet, or go to the lab to find theanswers. I acted as a facilitator or advisor and not the teacher who was the ultimate sourceof all knowledge. When they finished the unit of work, they learned a lot more than I couldteach them by lecturing. What they have done is much more than learning the facts. Theyhave learned how to learn. In preparing for this workshop I have re–created some of mylessons on Oxidation–Reduction and would like to share them with you. Keep in mind thatI have not explained what kind of work I expected from them and, most importantly, how Igraded them. As they are an important part of learning, I will discuss them with you after each lesson.
Oxidation and Reduction Reactions
Concepts to be learned:
1. Oxidation–Reduction Reactions2. Oxidation half reaction3. Reduction half reaction
Skills to be learned:
1. Making electrolytic cells2. Electrolysis of water 3. Electroplating4. Identifying anode and cathode5. Balancing redox reactions by half reactions2