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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 12 Issue 1 (2006) pp 1-9

Oxidation-Reduction as the Core of a Total Approach Introductory (Bio)Organic Chemistry Course Inspired by the Neon Electron Configuration

Jef Struyf

Rega Department, Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven, Belgium,
Received Sept 19, 2005. Accepted July 12, 2006.

Published online: 19 December 2006

Abstract. In order to provide introductory organic chemistry instructors with a coherent framework, a teaching approach is proposed inspired by the hierarchical structure of the neon electron configuration. In analogy to the latter, the course material is organized into similar 1s, 2s and 2p “levels.” At the central 2s level, an introductory reaction scheme is developed with oxidation–reduction reactions in the vertical dimension of this scheme. All introductory organic reactions can be related to this central scheme. Other teaching aids discussed are: the unexplored aspect of elementary analysis by combustion, an introduction of functional groups and their ionic variants in relation to the periodic table, an improved prefix-suffix table for total approach nomenclature, oxidation numbers and oxidation levels in introductory organic chemistry, total approach boiling point curves of homologous series, suggestions for opposite page overviews with typical examples, and a total approach on reactions of carbonyl compounds.

Key Words: In the Classroom; bio-organic chemistry; organic chemistry; oxidation-reduction; physical properties; teaching/learning aids; teaching/learning theory; redox reactions

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Article in PDF format (172 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

In order to shorten the length of this paper much information is available as supporting material: SM-1: Course description, SM-2: NECA-NECATA, SM-3: An Excel file with the selected boiling points and different plots, and SM-4: Student results. This material is available in a Zip file (205 KB).

Issue date: February 1, 2007

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