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Teaching Chemistry at School: Bulgarian Innovative Practice

Milena Koleva

Technical University of Gabrovo

[email protected]


The paper presents successful experience and good pedagogic practices in teaching chemistry at Bulgarian secondary schools in the context of the European educational policy for development of key competences for the young people. Problem-based approach, experimental work, project-based activities and other innovative teaching methods and technologies are discussed as effective way to improve the students’ scientific literacy and motivation to study chemistry. Chemistry teachers’ experience in implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the educational process using multimedia presentation, videolessons, interactive materials and other, is described. The paper pay attention on the ways of popularization of the successful experience and practice in Chemistry teaching at Bulgarian schools also.

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Comments about this Paper

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.10.06

Posted by A.J. Torres (Spain)

Message: This is a very relevant paper in which we can see good pedagogic practices in teaching chemistry at Bulgarian Secondary schools. The use of innovative teaching methods and technologies and the implementation of information and communication technologies are discussed as effective way to improve the student motivation and scientific literacy.
The paper begins with a description of key competences, their development and their application in chemistry education. It describes some approaches like solving real scientific problems or experimental work, developed by Bulgarian teachers with the support of ICTs. One of the most interesting approaches in the paper that I found was the organization of school projects, club activities and extracurricular training, an interesting way of improve students’ motivation. Most of these practices are being applied in other European Countries like Spain and it is very enriching that they know that they have similar problems that teachers from other countries and that some of the ways in the looking for solutions contain the same approaches.

The celebration of conferences and forums for exchange of professional experience and good teaching in science education is another way of improve and exchange experiences. In Spain we have every two years a national conference about science education where teachers from everywhere share resources, experiences, problems and illusions. All of these information about teaching experiences and researching is published in several scientific journals like in Bulgaria. We have a lot of points in common, and thus we can think that we are in the correct way.

Date: 2014.04.25

Posted by Untung Nugroho Harwanto (Turkey)

Message: The paper shows to us how the teaching chemistry of Bulgarian system was. Learning chemistry becomes funnier by combining some of teaching methods like problem-based approach, experimental work, project-based activities and other innovative teaching method and technologies. The teachers should be able to use the ICT (information and communication technology) like multimedia presentation, video lessons, and interactive materials when they are explaining the materials in front of the students. The teachers give more information to the students when they can use the benefit of ICT for education. Students can learn more than they hear or see in the class. The successful experience of innovative chemistry teaching in Bulgarian school can be applied to another country.

Date: 2014.04.07

Posted by Pierre Hautier (Belgium)

Message: This paper presents a series of successful experiences in teaching chemistry, focusing on Bulgarian schools example. These are related to the application of new methodologies in teaching chemistry following a problem-based approach, experimental work and project-based activities and using ICT tools like multimedia presentation, video lessons, interactive materials. Therefore, we can say that this publication is very relevant in terms of “Chemistry is all around” project objectives. Also the introduction of an e-learning platform is an excellent example of method motivating students.
The most important problem to be faced as shown in this publication is the scientific illiteracy. In this sense all the methodologies suggested so far represent very good solutions for this critical aspect.

Date: 2014.04.03

Posted by Ömer Faruk ŞEN (Turkey)

Message: Some teaching methods such as problematic approach and experimental work in teaching chemistry are criticized according to effectiveness in increasing students’ motivation and scientific literacy. For example, while problem solving is a successful method to get attention of students, Poor guidance of teacher and without timely revision of students work decrease effectiveness of the method. The author refers that modern teaching methods make the lesson more interesting and more easily understandable but the textbooks approved by the Ministry do not provide serious help teachers. To overcome this problem, ICT can be used in low efficiency of teaching chemistry. ICT can improve the quality of chemistry lesson and increase the motivation of students and the writer mentioned that the usage of ICT is getting popular in chemistry education in Bulgaria.

Date: 2014.04.01

Posted by Erdi ERDOĞAN (Turkey)

Message: A lot of modern teaching methods were presented in this paper for Bulgarian secondary schools chemistry learning. Problem-based approach, experimental work, project-based learning and different technological methods are very effective for teaching chemistry. Especially, problem based learning is very useful in classroom. This method provides solidarity in classroom. İf these methods use effectively at school, students become active-learning brain. European educaitional policies support these methods in learning chemistry.

Date: 2014.03.31

Posted by Giuseppina Caviglia (Italy)

Message: I chose to comment this article because it puts you in the center of the problematization of reality to build disciplinary knowledge and skills in meaningful environments.
In this perspective, the center is the teacher and his professionalism with which you can organize the learning environment using innovative approaches including the ICTs.
The use of ICTs is therefore considered important but to use functionally to the acquisition of skills in a global process of teaching - methodological innovation .
Also important is the clear reference to the fact that the development of skills necessary for literacy in the experimental sciences requires a long process to be implemented in time lying down.
The critical issues that emerge in the article are not so much related to the impossibility of having the resources available but to the attitude of the teachers, for example, or to the availability of a feedback for students' work. That shows how the use of ICTs is not the key to solve all the problems but only a means to innovate the teaching that must be supported by methodological choices.
In the article there are detailed proposals for the teaching of chemistry in the second level of education. The areas in which to develop skills in chemistry are listed : work in the field of naturalistic observation with the elaboration of hypotheses, research to validate or falsify them, presentation of conclusions; application of knowledge (eg knowledge physics and chemistry of biological objects ), understanding, presentation of problems, use of mathematical modeling for drawing conclusions .
ICTs are involved in some aspects such as the almost immediate feedback on the proposed solutions, in the presentation of problems and resolutions found in the statement . Moreover, the use of interactive multimedia can facilitate the understanding of the scientific experiment , which remains important , allowing the visualization of substances, chemical reactions , definitions and measures.
E-learning is a winner method especially to provide information ( multimedia presentations, electronic versions of the test , instructions, etc.) ..
The paper also describes a software that simulates a manual of chemistry and environmental protection to achieve functional autonomy in the study.
It also refers to an educational platform especially appreciated by students for the opportunity to apply the skills and having an immediate check that in the future will host a forum for the sharing of successful experiences in the teaching of chemistry.

Date: 2014.03.06

Posted by Mariusz Jarocki (Poland)

Message: The document presents modern methods of teaching chemistry in Bulgarian secondary schools in the context of the European Qualifications Framework. The attention of the author is focused on problem-based solutions, problem-based activities and experimental work. The approaches are commonly used in most modern chemistry learning programs in the European Union countries, so experiences and conclusions included in the document are very useful for teachers. In particular, there are many valuable conclusions about the specifics of teaching chemistry in the context of other courses. The author does not discuss issues at a high level of generality, but instead she gives concrete examples that are easily utilizable elsewhere. It makes the document easy to understand and implement. It would be useful to include in the document more examples of using ICT in teaching chemistry, because the topic is important and forward-looking, in particular with regard to non-standard methods of students' activation.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.