25 No. 1
January - February 2003
IUPAC Chemical Nomenclature
for Chemistry Teachers at Secondary Schools
The Committee on Chemistry
Education has initiated a new project to educate chemistry
teachers at secondary schools and technical colleges in the
Czech Republic about current IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic,
organic, biochemical, and macromolecular compounds. The procedure
could later be used as a model for replication in other countries.
Knowledge of current IUPAC
chemical nomenclature among chemistry teachers at secondary
schools and technical colleges in the Czech Republic 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 are not available to
them. 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, explained
Professor J. Kahovec, the task group chairman undertaking
this project. Organizing postgraduate courses for secondary
school chemistry teachers is a viable solution.
In the courses that the task
group is planning, the 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, the 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. Experienced
nomenclaturistspreferably those taking part in translations
of IUPAC documentswho are members of IUPAC or national
nomenclature commissions, would give the lectures. The booklet
and teaching materials initially prepared in Czech will subsequently
be translated in English.
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. A meeting is
planned with the Department of Teaching and Didactics of Chemistry
of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague
to introduce this course on IUPAC chemical nomenclature into
the curriculum for chemistry teachers.
For more information, contact
the Task Group Chairman Jaroslav Kahovec <[email protected]>.
last modified 30 December 2002.
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