UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


MAPS Education Seminar: Capturing and Cultivating Reasoning in Chemistry

01 December 2021, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm


We welcome Dr Ginger Schulz from the university of Michigan for a discussion on: investigating on how students apply reasoning to describe chemical phenomena and solve complex chemical problems

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students






Katherine Holt

Chemistry is often presented to students as a disconnected set of ideas. Our group investigates how students connect these ideas and apply reasoning to describe chemical phenomena and solve complex chemical problems. This talk will highlight some of our recent contributions to understanding how reasoning develops when applied by learners in NMR spectroscopy problem solving, when writing about reaction mechanisms, and when drawing on intellectual resources from a local community to conduct a research project.

We use various methods, including eye-tracking, semi-structured and think-aloud interviews, and textual analysis of student writing to investigate how students reason about molecular structure and behavior. We also investigate how the intellectual resources that students bring with them to the classroom influence how their thinking develops. Our goal is to uncover reasoning patterns used by students so that we and others can design learning environments that cultivate student reasoning about chemistry while also helping them to relate material learned in class to their lived experiences.

On Zoom, see calendar invite or contact Katherine Holt (k.b.holt@ucl.ac.uk) for joining information.