Chemistry for Scientific Literacy: A Case Study at the University of Aveiro in Portugal

By Patrícia Almeida and José Joaquim Teixeira-Dias.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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In the last decades, there has been an increase in the importance of scientific literacy. Consequently, there is a demand for higher education institutions to equip students with the key tools to become informed citizens. The purpose of this paper is to share the experience of the University of Aveiro in Portugal in developing and implementing a first-year chemistry course aimed at enhancing students’ scientific literacy. This paper describes how a chemistry course can be conceived in order to incorporate strategies aimed to nurture students’ scientific literacy. The rationale and justifications for integrating strategies to enhance scientific literacy in this first-year chemistry course are also described in this paper. Furthermore, the strategies implemented are described in detail and some instances of these strategies are presented. It is possible to transform a traditional chemistry course through the design and implementation of student-focused strategies connected to real world problems. This course aims to be a catalyst for changes to scientific literacy in science and engineering first-year courses at the University of Aveiro. This paper provides various examples of teaching, learning and assessment strategies for others on how to increase first-year science and engineering students’ scientific literacy.

Keywords: Chemistry, Teaching, Learning, Assessment, Scientific Literacy, Sustainability, Portugal, Case Study, Strategies, Education

The International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.27-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 824.576KB).

Dr. Patrícia Almeida

Researcher, Research Centre for Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Researcher at the Research Centre for Didactics and Technology at the University of Aveiro, Portugal.

Prof. José Joaquim Teixeira-Dias

Researcher at the University of Aveiro, Portugal.