Materials Chemistry GE Course

Teaching Scientific Literacy and Critical Thinking in a Chemistry GE Course

A recent article by Roshini Ramachandran, CAT’s Assistant Director of Curricular Initiatives, discusses the pedagogical strategies and assessment results from her CHEM 3: Material World general education course.

Taught remotely in Fall 2020, the course activities focused on problem-based learning utilizing case studies to make chemistry relevant to current real-world situations. Furthermore, social justice themes (e.g., underrepresentation in science, war on drugs, nuclear proliferation, climate change, etc.) were weaved through several topics. The various course components were assessed using survey instruments, and student feedback demonstrated that this multifaceted approach enabled them to engage, evaluate, and communicate science with one another.

Roshini Ramachandran is the Assistant Director of Curricular Initiatives at UCLA’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching. She leads the assessment of UCLA’s General Education Foundation of Scientific Inquiry (GE FSI) curriculum and conducts education research to enhance teaching and learning in STEM courses. She also teaches undergraduate chemistry courses and enjoys mentoring undergraduate students on independent research projects. This teaching-as-research project was done in collaboration with Alex Spokoyny (Chemistry department).

Read the article in the Journal of Chemical Education.

Materials Chemistry GE Course