It was very interesting to read about "hardness" of the STEM majors. Interesting because quite honestly, as I create or teach a course I don't think "Jeez, I want to make this course difficult."

My thinking is more of the "these students need this information for their subsequent courses so that they can go on to become successful ChE students." I am really trying not to over burden the students with too much info. In fact today in class I went over the homework that they have due on Wednesday and showed them how to apply the "equations" to the problems.

But, maybe this thinking is exactly the problem. We are so content heavy that we don't focus on the process. This is the focus of the 21st Century grant.

Interesting story, I told my students in class to not use the formulas from the book for a particular concept. I told them that it was much easier to think about the situation and derive the appropriate formula. So, (you can guess where this story is going), several students just picked a formula out of the book for the exam.

Is this happening because we tell them so many concepts and formulas that that is what they are going to go for? Finding the right equation?

More later......

"Science is Hard" and Occupy Wall Street

6 years ago

I know I don't like it when I don't have equations, or have to derive them. But I guess that's where practice comes from. (Then again, how much time can we as students spend on practicing things when we do have to learn so much stuff for our 5-class semesters?)

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