Professor Teague edits book: “Engaging Students in Physical Chemistry”

Professor of Chemistry Craig Teague can now add “book editor” to his list of accomplishments as his book “Engaging Students in Physical Chemistry” is released.

Photo of the book cover of “Engaging Students in Physical Chemistry”Teague edited the book with Professor of Chemistry David Gardner of Lander University in South Carolina. The two of them worked with a variety of different professors who authored chapters for the book describing their unique ideas for teaching physical chemistry, such as using a graphic novel to teach quantum mechanics or exploring how students learn in a physical chemistry classroom through their discussions.

Teague also teamed up with Cornell Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Truman Jordan on their own chapter. 

Craig Teague Portrait
Professor of Chemistry Craig Teague

“The chapter is about a specific set of spreadsheet activities that we use in physical chemistry,” Teague said. “We use partition functions and statistical thermodynamics to bridge between quantum mechanics and classical thermodynamics, and the students work through a variety of spreadsheet activities throughout the course.”

While at Cornell Teague has passionately focused on re-thinking chemistry education. He has worked to research and restructure teaching to enhance connections in material and make the courses more relevant and interesting for students. He is an advocate of the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) approach, which helps students discover content themselves through carefully designed activities and structured group work.

The book took a year to create, and it started with a request from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Teague has organized symposia at national meetings for several years, and the topic creates a lot of buzz.

“We are organizing the symposium again at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Notre Dame later this summer,” Teague said. “There was enough interest that people filled four sessions of talks, which means there will be 32 talks. It’s pretty exciting that there still continues to be this much interest. I also run a Google group with the same name (Engaging Students in Physical Chemistry) where people from all over the country talk about physical chemistry education.”

The digital version of the book is currently available with an ACS subscription, which is available to anyone on campus. The print version will be distributed by Oxford University Press in four to five months.

“Engaging Students in Physical Chemistry,” Craig M. Teague and David E. Gardner, Eds., American Chemical Society Symposium Series, Vol. 1279, July 2, 2018, ISBN 9780841232884, DOI: 10.1021/bk-2018-1279