20th ICCE – Reflections

The 20th ICCE at Mauritius in retrospect was an exciting conference. What I was thrilled by is the amazing variety of approaches that teachers and educators are using to teach Chemistry. Peter Hollamby was using simple Powerpoint, Excel and Word macros along with Flash based animations to do a variety of cool things – like drag and drop and MCQs. The Cross River project from Taiwan had school students capture ecological data about Taiwan’s main river (that runs from the mountain to the sea and cuts across as many as 14 different indigenous sub-cultures) and not only collaborate on the scientific aspects but also learn about the indigenous cultures. Another one from Taiwan studied how ICT could be used to monitor and report polluting vehicles, thereby really increasing students’ awareness on environmental pollution issues. SATL, a systemic approach in teaching and learning chemistry, seemed to be another innovative approach as were approaches to use didactic games and problem solving approaches to teaching and learning. Of course, visualization got a huge lot of focus because of the higher effectiveness of that approach in chemistry especially at the “invisible” molecular level. Then there was Shalini Baxi’s presentation on ICT – the challenges of science education, a history of previous low-cost initiatives and learning X.0 evolution.

All in all, I found it a very enriching and rewarding experience to be part of this conference, so expertly organized by the University of Mauritius (Prof. P Ramasami) and my best wishes to the organizers of the Taiwan conference in 2010.

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