‘’Ma’am! Please postpone the test. It is a difficult subject to study. We can’t!’’
When a teacher after an hour long doubt clearing session gets this kind of reply, it can be truly demotivating. However, it can also act as a starter to a new technique of teaching for better explanation of concepts, which was in my case!
Chemistry being a favourite subject for a chosen few is quite difficult to be made into a subject that is liked and enjoyed by the mass. In such a scenario, most of the students as I have seen in my decade-long spanning teaching career, try to avoid this subject. Rather than taking out new techniques for making a subject endearing, they try to find out ways to avoid this subject.
Why is this subject always placed at the back foot?
It is quiteknowledge as I have seen very many times as to how students, in this whole science segment tend to avoid chemistry, ignore it and the marks obtained also do not matter to them to a great extent. This surely affects their general academic standards to a great extent, but hardly any concern is seen in them regarding this.
It was at this board meeting that I decided on specifically putting this topic up and checking out where the problem was and how to make a mundane study of chemistry into an entertaining one!
Noting down the problems of this subject:
The first step to problem solution is knowledge of the problem and understanding it in greater detail. Chemistry has been more than often been labelled as the ‘problem subject.’ However, the problem rests not in the subject, but the way of explaining it to students, way of catering to their needs and how it is being presented before students.
On a personal note, I have noted these major issues that require specific consideration.
- Lack of clarity of concepts:
Most of the students don’t have clarity of the concepts that are there and they do not have the correct source of clearing those concepts as well. Hence, they naturally tend to think that chemistry as a subject is difficult, rather beyond comprehension.
- Lack of proper experiments:
As teachers, we are given only a set of experiments that we can perform before the students. I have seen most of my students showing extreme interest when it comes to these experiments, but a lack of interest in theoretical concepts.
- Not enough interactions regarding the topics:
Here again, an important aspect of finishing of syllabus on time comes into play. There have been many topics that I wished to discuss in detail with my students, but due to time crunch I could not. Apart from that, I have seen my students also trying to discuss certain important aspects but not being able to do so due to pressure of syllabus completion.
- Lack of proper sources:
This isdefinitely another very important issue that I have come across as a reason for students to avoid chemistry. They simply have the text as a basic source and not much of reference material that could help them broaden their outlook.
For me these are definitely some of the most important aspects that need to be taken into consideration before finding correct solutions to such a major problem.
When studies don’t work, have fun:
Have you ever thought of fun studies as an option? Well, I did try the technique out, and it provided some amazing results for my class! Here are some of the techniques that even you can try to make studying of chemistry an entertaining process!
- Holding group discussions:
This was an experiment that I carried out in my Chemistry class. I divided the class of fifty students into ten groups and gave them a singular concept to explain. After discussion amongst themselves one representative from each of the teams had to take charge and explain the same to the whole class.
I practised this technique over a period of ten days and believe me, my syllabus of inorganic chemistry was almost complete and that too with students understanding the important concepts well.
- General experiments:
Since, we had strict orders regarding usage of chemicals during experiments, I made sure that we tried using safer chemicals and mostly had experiments in the field of organic chemistry. This was one of the best-tried techniques as I found the joy on the face of my students completely different and they were for the first time enjoying the class.
You can also try out simple experiments as a starter for better explanation. It seriously helps! Whatever be the mode of teaching, it is important that you should have proper relevance of that subject in professional world. In case you want to know more on that, you can check out Steps to ensure that the subject that you are studying has relevance in real world for help.
- Video lessons:
With YouTube spreading its wings at every corner, taking help from video lessons was the way that could surely help in making the students check out aspects from a different perspective.
I downloaded some specific videos associated with chemistry from YouTube and made sure that students were given a preview of it before holding some important discussions on that topic.
This to a great extent has helped my students get a better grasp of the subject and courtesy to these professional websites, my students have started enjoying the subject, and I can finally say that I am a happy teacher!
Trading the right path:
The primary aim of teachers like me is to ensure that education that is imparted to students are of the correct type and rather than mererotelearning process, students gain knowledge that can be used in a number of situations.
This technique of studying Chemistry in a different manner surely has its set of benefits as I have personally seen and hence, I can most definitely state that in the long run, it will have its set of benefits. Why don’t you try out some of these techniques? In case you have some tricks up the sleeve, you can also share them! Waiting for your message!