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Chemistry Textbook Concepts

ACS launched a bold new curriculum called the General Chemistry Project to re-think and re-work the general chemistry course that so many students perceive as a barrier rather than a pathway to their future. This ambitious, multi-faceted project includes the textbook Chemistry and abundant support for instructors who are ready to rebuild the teaching of general chemistry.

The concepts in the textbook Chemistry and its accompanying laboratory program are all familiar parts of general chemistry courses and textbooks, but they may appear in an unfamiliar order and context. Principles are developed as much as possible through analysis of data obtained in classroom activities. Understanding and reasoning are stressed, with a heavy emphasis on models of all kinds: analogies, physical, computer, and mathematical.

The book is written in a conversational tone to be accessible and engaging for students. Activities and thought-provoking questions posed throughout the text are intended to promote active class participation.

Students are assumed to have taken a high school chemistry course, and the content of the book reflects this in leaving out extended discussions of techniques like equation balancing and stoichiometric relationships. End-of-chapter problems provide practice and reminders for those who need them.

The laboratory program is built around project labs that require students working in teams to devise solutions to the problems posed in the write-up. Limited instruction is given, so each solution may be unique. Together, the textbook and laboratory put great emphasis on active student learning and greater demands on faculty to facilitate that learning.

SNAPSHOT of Chemistry

  • Course content emphasizes understanding principles in the context of biologically important molecules, beginning with water
  • Pedagogy is built on active learning and group interactions.
  • Project-based laboratory materials use cooperative learning strategies
  • Models, computer-based materials, and Web-based extensions enhance visualization and empower students to apply their understanding in new situations