Humanizing chemistry education: From simple contextualization to multifaceted problematization

Jesper Sjöström, Vicente Talanquer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Chemistry teaching has traditionally been weakly connected to everyday life, technology, society, and history and philosophy of science. This article highlights knowledge areas and perspectives needed by the humanistic (and critical-reflexive) chemistry teacher. Different humanistic approaches in chemistry teaching, from simple contextualization to socioscientific orientations to multifaceted problematization, are discussed. The latter is crucial for "critical chemistry teaching", which includes both problematized content knowledge in chemistry and problematized knowledge about chemistry and chemistry education (about the nature of chemistry, its role in society, and the way it is communicated inside and outside the classroom). We illustrate how various facets of chemistry knowledge for teaching can be used to characterize different levels of complexity in the integration of the human element into chemistry education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2014


  • Applications of Chemistry
  • Curriculum
  • General Public
  • Green Chemistry
  • History/Philosophy
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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