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Committee on Chemistry Education

Number: 2001-016-1-050

Title: IUPAC chemical nomenclature for chemistry teachers at secondary schools

Task Group
: Jaroslav Kahovec

Completion Date: 2007 - project abandoned

To disseminate the knowledge of fundamentals of current IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic, organic, biochemical and macromolecular compounds among chemistry teachers at secondary schools and technical colleges.

The knowledge of current IUPAC chemical nomenclature among chemistry teachers at secondary schools and technical colleges is rather rudimentary. The faculties educating chemistry teachers do not seem to put sufficient stress on correct and modern chemical nomenclature. The situation is even worse with senior teachers as postgraduate studies in education of teachers are not available. There is no appropriate solution to the problem.

The most important current IUPAC nomenclature documents are translated into Czech and published but their treatment of the topics is difficult and too detailed for the teachers. Organizing postgraduate courses for secondary school chemistry teachers is a viable solution. In the courses, fundamentals of current IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic, organic and biochemical compounds as well as that of polymers would be outlined. The rules and the ideas behind them would be explained and illustrated in many examples. At the same time, most frequent errors in naming would be demonstrated and corrected. A booklet containing a brief outline of nomenclature rules and, possibly, a final exam would form an important part of the course. The lectures would be given by experienced nomenclaturists, members of IUPAC or national nomenclature commissions, preferably those taking part in translations of IUPAC documents.

Preliminary inquiries among chemistry teachers showed great interest in such courses. As the number of chemistry teachers at secondary schools and technical colleges in the Czech Republic is quite high, several course offerings would have to be scheduled. An interaction with the Department of Teaching and Didactics of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague is planned to implement a course of IUPAC chemical nomenclature into the curriculum for chemistry teachers.

Aug 2004 - To gain more with high school teachers, several seminars in organic chemistry nomenclature for chemistry teachers were held in county towns in the Czech Republic (Mladá Boleslav, Frýdek-Místek, Karlovy Vary) in 2003 and 2004. Meanwhile, in 2003, the pedagogical centers in regions were dissolved by the Ministry of Education and a new network of regional centers will have to be reestablished before the project can resume in its full course. Booklets on basic principles of IUPAC nomenclature are currently being prepared.

Project abandoned

Last update: 21 December 2007

<project announcement published in Chem. Int. 25(1) 2003>


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