Qualitative Concept Focus

Think About Molecular World

They [students] reveal great misunderstandings about the molecular world. So the difficulties and limitations are as a result of not spending sufficient time on getting them to think about this world, and spending too much time on doing. You know, we’ve got to spend some time, but you can’t spend too much time, I think, on a lot of the ideas that we do teach, and doing calculations and things that, really, no one else does. It’s really something that’s done almost like it’s make-work-type stuff.

Teach Qualitative Cocepts First

Get students to have a qualitative understanding before they apply it. Teach the topic qualitatively and then they can realise that they can do calculations with it. Q and K would come later, after they have the qualitative understanding.

The Curly Arrow Code

They're learning a new language as well as new concepts. There's a lot of vocabulary - terms like electrophile and nucleophile and many others. So it’s about learning the language, learning the curly arrow code that we use, and then starting to apply that in half a dozen different contexts.

Understand Concept Before Introducing Maths

A lot of the students are really weak in maths, so make sure they understand the concept before introducing any maths.

Leave Maths Until Later

Introduce the concepts without being too mathematical at the second year level.

Qualitative Introduction

Introduce quantum mechanics in a very qualitative way, so they don’t get worried about it in a big way or worry about the mathematical treatments. Introduce just the big thing that it can tell us, but not be too concerned about the details. The ideas that flow from the qualitative concept are very important, but the mathematical treatment is not so important to them at that stage.

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