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Integrating the History and Philosophy of Science and restoring the centrality of the Periodic Table into a college general chemistry course.

Scerri, Eric (2021) Integrating the History and Philosophy of Science and restoring the centrality of the Periodic Table into a college general chemistry course. Chimica Nella Scuola, 4, 16-23, 2021., 4. pp. 16-23.

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Abstract

The article proposes the enhancement of college level general chemistry courses by integrating various historical and philosophical aspects of chemistry. This goal is explained in some detail in the case of selected main topics in a typical general chemistry curriculum. A second goal of the article is to restore the centrality of the periodic table (PT) into teaching general chemistry. This includes a brief account of how the PT developed without initially mentioning atomic structure and atomic orbitals. After these latter topics are introduced one can return to the PT in order to show the extent to which quantum mechanics explains this central motif of the field of chemistry. Chemical bonding is likewise introduced in a classical fashion according to Lewis structures and VSEPR model followed by the more comprehensive explanations provided by quantum theories of bonding.
As in the case of the periodic table the aim is to show students the limitations of the classical approaches and the motivation for and advantages of adopting a quantum description.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Scerri, Ericscerri@chem.ucla.edu
Keywords: philosophy of science, chemical education, atomic structure, quantum mechanics, chemical bonding.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Science Education
Depositing User: Eric Scerri
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 15:59
Last Modified: 06 May 2022 15:59
Item ID: 20556
Journal or Publication Title: Chimica Nella Scuola, 4, 16-23, 2021.
Publisher: Italian Chemical Society
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Science Education
Date: 2021
Page Range: pp. 16-23
Volume: 4
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20556

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