Ecological Chemistry Through Popular Scientific Articles

Ecological Chemistry Through Popular Scientific Articles

Ketevan Kupatadze (Ilia State University, Georgia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1241-8.ch025


Popularization of ecological chemistry is the aim of scientific-popular articles, which are published in the online journal for teachers. The articles of this type ecological chemistry are linked with literature and history. Due to this linkage, this module turns into an easily comprehensible one and it becomes fun. In all articles, there is also included very useful and interesting information pertaining to ecological chemistry. The titles of such articles must be underlined because they should not only show the common meaning of article, but they should also attract readers. The utmost interest is generated by the historical papers where chemical issues are connected with history. The period of alchemy is more popular and that's why the alchemical stories are described in the articles. The outcome of the pedagogical experiment has made it clear that such a method of teaching of ecological chemistry with scientific popular articles affects positively school student motivation and changes their attitude towards environmental pollution.
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In recent years ecological chemistry has acquired special significance. The same can be said on environmental and green chemistry. Enhanced cataclysms, changes in migration of chemical elements in nature, and climate change are subjects of discussion for consideration. The reasons are many, although a majority agree that one of the most important factors is anthropogenic, i.e. chemical cycles in the environment are disrupted as a result of human action; leading to changed climates, polluted air and water, and increased diseases.

Therefore it is important to provide the next generation with knowledge and insight in order to understand the essence and risks of the problem. Correspondingly, members of society will be as committed as the ecologist to take care of the environment (Kupatadze et al, 2016).

In the article we will discuss the issues of ecological chemistry teaching. Generally there are many methods of teaching ecological chemistry and among them is the transfer of information / current issues in scientific-popular form.

In the teaching process, it is essential to maintain student engagement and interest. Approaches differ but applying popular science articles may be helpful. This chapter reviews the popular-science articles on ecological and environmental chemistry, as one of the tools to popularize chemistry and get students (and not only students) interested in ecological and environmental chemistry. The popular-science article we are going to review, are published with the authorship of Prof. K. Kupatadze in an on-line magazine “The Teacher” and are targeted towards at a wide range of readership.

The articles are-in line with the didactic teaching principles. In the framework of didactics and methodology, there are some general didactic principles which deal with a pragmatic approach in teaching (Morais et al, 2015).

For example:

  • 1.

    The Principle of combining theory and practice-means to combine theoretical knowledge with practical activities. Each popular-science articles contains a protocol of a chemical experiment which can be conducted during a chemistry lesson. Some of the chemical experiments can be conducted at home.

  • 2.

    The Principle of comprehensibility means-that the learning material should always be adapted to the level of knowledge of the learners. The popular-science articles are written such that a layperson without expertise in chemistry can still understand them.

  • 3.

    The Principle of using examples means-that article must contain a good practical example which can be used to make the contents easier to understand.

  • 4.

    The principle of interdisciplinary links - in scope of popular-science articles in Ecological and Environmental Chemistry are connected with other sciences – such as history and literature.

  • 5.

    The principle of transfer of knowledge- in popular-science articles, the chemical information is linked with everyday life.

Popular Scientific articles has the same goals as “Storytelling”. The different research shows that “storytelling” in chemistry inspires school students (and not only them) to overcome their “Chemo phobia” and try to understand this subject (Morais et al, 2015). What can storytelling offer? Stories teach about life, about ourselves and about others. Storytelling is a unique way for students to develop an understanding, respect and appreciation for other culture and can promote a positive attitude to people from different countries (Moen et al, 2006).

It should be underlined that not only school students but also University students (not chemistry specialization) should be involved in chemistry. Mark Green’s book about Organic Chemistry realize this purpose and with storytelling students can found related video lectures links (Pruett et al, 2014).

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