instruction that is more conceptually oriented, then we must also expect that more time will be spent in in-depth learning experiences. This is consistent with our understanding how best to support learning (NRC 1999). For this to develop we need
instructors who are confident in their conceptual understanding of quantum theory;
instructors with a clear vision of the conceptual web that their students should construct;
instructors who recognize the value of deep conceptual learning;
instructors who have confidence that their students will indeed benefit from such an approach, as well as
the instructional materials necessary to support such a new learning environment.
Items 1 and 2 must be addressed together for each instructor if quantum concepts are to become the foundation for chemistry instruction. Items 3 and 4 must also be joined if instructors are to adopt such a new approach. Finally, curriculum materials development projects such as our own are addressing Item 5.
None of these items is unique to changing instruction in general chemistry. Perhaps there is greater optimism for change in this case because of the sophistication of the instructors. With proper materials, each of our respondents may be able to make the transition to a quantum concept based course.
This research is funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education (Award No. P116B020856). In addition to the authors of this paper, the team at Boston University includes Professor Dan Dill, Professor Alexander Golger, Professor Morton Z. Hoffman, and Mr. Alan C. Crosby. Without their participation this research would not have been possible.
Garik & Kelley (draft)page 12