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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 3 (2004) pp 182-183

First-Year Chemistry (Arguably)

Catherine Hurt Middlecamp† and Paul Kelter*,‡

†Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706; ‡Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801,

Published online: 29 May 2004

Abstract. The first chemistry courses that students take in college go by many names, including general chemistry, first-year chemistry and introductory chemistry. These may be evocative and powerful identifiers; they also may be problematic (arguably). In this paper, we consider “names” as a way of introducing key questions about what we teach, what our students learn, and what interests, prejudices, and passions both we and our students bring to the teaching and learning processes. We also lay the groundwork for a series of commentaries on first-year chemistry, in which we introduce an organization, the International Center for First-Year Undergraduate Chemistry Education (ICUC), formed to address the issues we face and to support those who teach these courses.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; general chemistry; first-year chemistry; introductory chemistry; ICUC

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Issue date: June 1, 2004

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