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 is on the assessment of practical work in schools.

Ruby Hanson is the Dean of the Faculty of Science Education and an Associate Professor of Chemistry Education, in the University of Education, Winneba (Ghana), which is the leading teacher education institute in Sub-Saharan Africa. She obtained her Ph.D (Chemistry Education) from the University of Education. She holds an M.Phil (Analytical and Environmental Chemistry) from the University of Cape Coast, where she carried out research in chemical toxicology. She also holds a Certificate degree in Designing & Facilitating E-Learning from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, as well as certificates from the Utrecht and Vrije Universiteit in Development and Research in Science and Mathematics Education. Ruby heads a Science Team that is spearheading a revolutionary national curriculum transformation. 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. Ruby Hanson’s current research focuses on finding out 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 are her current projects.

Thomas Holme is a Morrill Professor in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University. He received his PhD from Rice University in Texas and held postdoctoral positions at Hebrew 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, assuming the role in January of 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.

Prof.  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, focussing 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 completed her Ph.D. in 1992 in theoretical chemistry, and subsequently conducted postdoctoral study in theoretical polymer chemistry. After teaching high school chemistry and physics for 7 years in the Boston area in the United States, and then more postdoctoral research in experimental materials science, she joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she has been since 2001, except for a two-year interlude (2009-11) as a program officer at the US National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on how students develop chemical thinking across the decade from secondary to tertiary chemistry, how a focus on green chemistry influences students’ learning of chemistry, how scientists and teachers develop responsive classroom assessment practices that promote students’ meaning making in chemistry, and how chemistry teachers lead from the classroom in peer-led professional development with other teachers. Her work has been published in educational journals including Chemistry Education Research and Practice, the Journal of Chemical Education, the International Journal of Science Education, and Cultural Studies of Science Education, and in the science education section of Science. 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
Associate 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