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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 4 (2004) pp 220-223

A Teaching Plan for Introducing Gas Properties

Katherine E. Brown, Amy Micklos, Jeffrey S. Carver, and William J. F. Hunter*,

Department of Chemistry, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, 61790, and Division of Natural Sciences, Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, Illinois, 61348
Received July 2, 2003. Accepted September 30, 2003.

Published online: 18 June 2004

Abstract. The teaching of gas properties is part of most introductory chemistry courses. Almost every textbook for high school and introductory college chemistry includes chapters devoted to the properties of gases and their subsequent behavior. It can be safely assumed that the authors of textbooks have a plan of how to explain the behavior and properties of gases in a textual and graphic form. Some even include simulations of gases as part of multimedia addenda. None of these texts, however, explain the choices made nor try to convey what an instructor might do in helping students to learn about gases. This article describes how four instructors introduce gas properties and laws, how we make choices within the instructional process, what we show to students at various points in the teaching and demonstration, and why those choices are reasonable to us. Because the four authors are devout constructivists we have attempted to teach in a manner consistent with constructivist learning theory.

Key Words: In the Classroom;

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: August 1, 2004

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