From: Ralph Stuart <rstuartcih**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] NSTA Urges Science Educators to Halt the Use of Methanol-Based Flame Tests on Open Laboratory Desks
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2015 11:35:06 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: C5CD8856-4B27-495F-9B48-1FE4D175354E**At_Symbol_Here**

> professional development in education seems to operate on a fallacy: if you want to change what teachers do, change what they know. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

As I‰??ve been reviewing undergrad lab procedures (primarily for organic chemistry classes and research) I too have noticed a move away from the "information deficit‰?? approach to teaching chemistry. Rather than being given cookbook lab procedures to demonstrate particular chemical phenomenon, students are given general questions to investigate with general guidance to suggest how they might find an answer. This approach is popular with students but it can make it difficult to develop a risk assessment or recommend specific safety practices for the procedure. And it puts a lot more pressure on the safety awareness element of lab safety.

It‰??s clear from Calais Weber's description of the event in the ‰??After the Rainbow‰?? video from the ACS that ignorance of the hazard was not part of that story, but the teacher was distracted from that concern by trying to make the experiment work as she hoped.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH

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