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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 251-256

Remarks on the Teaching of Unit Conversions

Sebastian G. Canagaratna

Department of Chemistry, Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH 45810,
Received November 18, 2008. Accepted July 10, 2009.

Published: 20 July 2010

Abstract. In freshman texts the method of unit factors is used almost exclusively to teach conversion from one unit to another. An alternative method of teaching the subject using the method of substitution is discussed, and the method of substitution compared with the unit factor conversion method. The method of substitution is pedagogically sounder, and in all cases as simple as or simpler than the method of unit factors. It also encourages sound habits which will stand the students in good stead when they go on to higher work. Since students who have already been exposed to the method of unit factors will be reluctant to change, some strategies to make a successful transition are discussed.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry; high school chemistry

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Article in PDF format (97 KB) HTML format page number change 7/31/2010

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