Bringing design practices to chemistry education is gaining interest with recent science curriculum reforms emphasising design, and calls for integrated STEM education. Design is a central practice in the chemistry discipline, and could foster meaningful chemistry education. Although chemistry teachers are key in bringing design to chemistry classrooms, and in realising design’s potential for learning, little is known about their views on teaching and learning regarding design. To reduce this gap in literature, we explored chemistry teachers’ pedagogical ideas in the context of a Dutch professional learning community on design in chemistry education. We elicited teachers’ ideas through semi-structured interviews and lesson forms which teachers kept while implementing a design project. Multiple patterns emerged through analysing teachers’ ideas. We found that the teachers did not see teaching design as a goal of chemistry education. Instead, teachers valued design as a teaching approach to engage students in applying chemistry concepts, in developing soft skills, and in applying or developing research practices. In this paper, we present more patterns in teachers’ ideas, and discuss possible explanations of these findings in depth. Finally, we give suggestions for future research, and teacher professional development that may help support a change to bring design into chemistry education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-546
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • chemistry education, Design, professional learning community, qualitative research, teacher views

ID: 69977173