26th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education

Responding to 21st century imperatives in chemistry education

Plenary Speakers

Judith Bennett is the Salters’ Professor of Science Education and leader of the University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG). Prior to taking on the role of Salters’ Professor in 2014, Judith was Head of the Department of Education at the University of York for eight years.Before joining the Department of Education at York, Judith spent eight years as a secondary science teacher, mainly in London. During this period, she studied part-time for an MA and then a PhD, at King’s College in London, researching gender issues in science education. Judith’s research is underpinned by a desire to make science accessible and engaging for all young people. She has undertaken a number of projects in the area of attitudes to science and in evaluating the impact of new approaches to science teaching on young people’s responses to science. She is currently leading two major research projects. The first is a project called Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST), which draws on high quality research evidence to develop resources for use in schools in order to help teachers tackle some of the major challenges in science education, such as assessment, teaching difficult ideas, and widening participation. The second a project called Science Beyond the Boundaries and focuses on broadening of upper high school science teaching to include disciplines such as philosophy, politics, history and geography.

Ruby Hanson’s research has focused on uncovering students’ conceptual challenges and remediating them through innovative and interactive strategies, development of e-courseware, the use of micro-science equipment for conceptual labs, and the preparation of science teacher trainees for teaching in contemporary times. Her current projects focus on STEM, sustainability and systems thinking. She holds annual chemistry fairs for young learners to start them on the path in their study of chemistry. The fairs are supported by grants from the American Chemical Society. She is Dean of the Faculty of Science Education and a full Professor of Chemistry Education, in the University of Education, Winneba, the leading teacher education institute in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Hanson obtained her PhD in Chemistry Education from the University of Education. She holds an MPhil in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry from the University of Cape Coast, where she carried out research in chemical toxicology in aquatic animals. She also holds a Certificate degree in Designing & Facilitating e-Learning from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, as well as certificates in Development and Research in Science and Mathematics Education from the Utrecht and Vrije Universiteit. She headed a Science Team that spearheaded a revolutionary national curriculum in the teaching and learning of science.

She is a member of the IUPAC-Systems Thinking in Chemistry for Sustainability International Working Group. Professor Hanson is a recipient of a District Best Teacher Award as well as many other awards at both local and international conferences and workshops.

Dr. Thomas Holme is a Morrill Professor in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University. He received his PhD from Rice University, and held postdoctoral positions at Hebrew the University and the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zambia. He served as the Director of the ACS Examinations Institute from 2002-2015 and received the Pimentel Award for chemical education from the ACS in 2017. He has been chosen as the 9th Editor in Chief of the Journal of Chemical Education since January 2020. His research interests in chemistry education encompass assessment, the development of technology tools for student learning and assessment and the development of curricular tools to add context-based content and systems thinking in General Chemistry courses.

Professor Elizabeth Mavhunga is a teacher educator and an NRF-rated researcher in Chemistry Education based at the School of Education, Wits University, South Africa. She teaches Chemistry and Methodology courses across undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has held several positions of leadership in the School including heading the School’s research portfolio. Her research is embedded within her teaching practice, focusing on developing professional teacher knowledge for teaching science topics through the theoretical construct of Topic Specific Pedagogical Content knowledge (TSPCK) which she elucidated in 2013. TSPCK has since been employed widely locally and internationally, and its inclusion in the conceptualization of the refined consensus PCK model (2019) has been widely endorsed. Prof Mavhunga has now extended her research into the digital realm, where she explores the development of pre-service teachers’ TSPCK in digital teaching contexts. Her research work is driven by the need to fast-track the development of agile and digitally knowledgeable science teachers who will deliver high quality science lessons in both traditional and virtual classroom contexts. Prof Mavhunga is a recipient of several NRF research grants, and has received two prestigious research awards by the science education professional bodies: SAARMSTE and SACI. She has graduated many postgraduate students, and authored several book chapters and journal articles in accredited publications.

Hannah Sevian is a professor of chemistry and associate provost of the University of Massachusetts Boston in the US, where she has been on the faculty since 2001. Her career also includes 7 years as a public high school chemistry and physics teacher in a Spanish bilingual program in the Boston area and 2 years serving as a program officer at the US National Science Foundation. Her doctoral and postdoctoral training was in theoretical chemical physics prior to becoming a high school teacher. Her research for the past two decades at UMass Boston has focused on chemistry learning that is proactively inclusive, recognizes and builds on students’ cultural wealth and knowledge, and creates opportunities for learning so that students take an active role in connecting school to their lived worlds. She studies how students develop chemical thinking across the decade from secondary to tertiary chemistry, how a focus on green chemistry influences students’ learning of chemistry, and how scientists and teachers develop responsive classroom assessment practices that promote students’ meaning making in chemistry. Her research has been published in chemistry, chemistry education, and science education journals. The awards she treasures most are the Boston Higher Education Partnership Service Award and the UMass President’s Award for Public Service, both in recognition of her commitment to the quality of public science education and access to higher education for students in Boston.

Invited Speakers

Assistant Professor Gautam Bhattacharrya Missouri State University
Professor Ron Blonder Weizmann Institute
Dr Temechegn Engida African Journal of Chemical Education (AJCE)
Dr Ozcan Gulacar University of California, Davis
Sir John Holman University of York
Professor Vanessa Kind Durham University
Associate Professor Gwen Lawrie University of Queensland
Dr Kgadi Mathabathe University of Pretoria
Professor Mauro Morcerino Curtin University
Associate Professor Frackson Mumba University of Virginia
Dr Lynne Pilcher University of Pretoria
Professor Marissa Rollnick University of Pretoria and the Witwatersrand
Dr Joyce Sewry Rhodes University
Assistant Professor Ginger Shultz University of Michigan
Associate Professor Daniel Southam Curtin University