Chemistry education: Ten dichotomies we live by

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Modern thought in chemical education seems to be shaped by a set of dichotomies that are useful in identifying and highlighting problems, as well as in generating and communicating novel ideas. However, these binary oppositions may also constrain our thinking. Among these dichotomies, we draw attention to 10 different oppositions including, among others, the pairs abstract/concrete, algorithmic/conceptual, and symbolic/microscopic. The central goal of this contribution is to reflect on the scope and limitations of common dichotomic conceptualizations of critical elements of chemical education. The major motivation is to invite chemical educators to critically analyze ideas or beliefs that we often take for granted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1344
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 9 2012


  • Chemical Education Research
  • General Public
  • Learning Theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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