OK with what I present and my knowledge behind it.…In what I present and understand myself I cannot say that I was uncomfortable (before workshop). I recognize that my knowledge base is only slightly beyond what I present to my students. I enjoyed the workshop a great deal. It made me realize how much of my time is spent on the mechanics of the course rather than the content. With existing workloads I feel that I will forever be in that rut where I would like to try different things but do not have the time to explore them. I felt a little better about my background in quantum since I spent some time thinking about these things which I had not done in a long time. Considering the level that I present at I don’t think that my preparedness increased dramatically considering the content I was teaching. I did use Quantum Explorer software in a lab session at the end of my first semester gen chem. course.”
R4: “Trepidation, not reluctance, is what I feel. I don’t expect I’ll ever feel well prepared to teach quantum concepts, but I do feel noticeably better-prepared now that I did before the June workshop. If I had to pick an area I find the most troublesome it would be bonding and molecule formation. I think I just don’t understand well enough the various simplifying approaches and all the details of different assumptions that are made. (Puzzling?) Let’s start with particle duality. What the hell is matter really. Or should I say what we call matter. For that matter (pun intended) what is an electric or magnetic field? Maybe you can explain to me what a field is. Isn’t there something called a quantum field? What is that? One thing is not puzzling – I need help!”
R5: “(QCs to teach?) I can summarize these as those taught in any good, physics-based Introduction to Quantum Mechanics class. I don’t teach these concepts for two reasons: (1) my physics colleagues do a wonderful job with them (and we are a very collaborative institution!) and (2) I am not as comfortable with them as are my physics colleagues. …I may not always fully understand them, but I am sufficiently confident in my abilities (and education) to be able to state that fact clearly, and go on from there.
(Prepared prior to June ’03 workshop?) Yes, I did. (After?) Perhaps a better statement would be: “I feel better prepared now.” The Schrödinger Shooter certainly helped with the radial part, and I cannot wait until the angular parts are included. The paradox is this: of quantum, because it is so different from our classical view, is puzzling, yet I find none of the concepts of quantum particularly puzzling.”
R6: “(Prepared Before June ’03 workshop?) Somewhat, especially at what would be taught at the introductory level. I did feel that the workshop both reviewed and solidified key concepts and I particularly enjoyed working with the software to set up scenarios and “test” my own predictions. Our assignment to “design” individual teaching units was a great way to force me to pull theses concepts together in a meaningful way. I found this exercise essential and would definitely incorporate this “assignment” in future workshops. (After?) Yes. Definitely.
(Troublesome areas?) Honestly, I have not had this material since 1988 as a chemistry undergraduate. I remember confusion/struggling with…Postulating hybrid orbitals, localized bonding of VB theory, delocalized bonding of MO theory, bonding and antibonding MOs. (Puzzling aspects?) Definitely. For this I would need to refer to my notes from our last visit to provide an answer (which won’t help today … sorry!).”
We summarize the responses in the following table. Unfortunately, the question about Troublesome Concepts was posed ambiguously. As a result, some respondents’ answers appear
Garik & Kelley (draft)page 8