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The Importance of Life Skills Based Education
Education is more than academics. Learning goes beyond the four-walls of the classroom. Throughout your life, your skill set as well as your intelligence will have a lot to do in determining your success. With this in mind, life skills are also important in education, and this statement holds true even when learning science subjects, such as chemistry.
Learning chemistry, at any level, requires life skills, critical thinking skills, and awareness, among other skills. This approach to learning is not only important when learning chemistry, but also when contributing to society in return.
A simple approach to learning chemistry is through observation and rationalization. Since chemistry is an example of an empirical science, it can be explained through observations, like observing how water changes from a liquid state to frozen state. From here, we can proceed to rationalization, explaining how this came to be. This approach can be used from the simplest concepts to the most complex ones.
However, you need a lot of resources to learn chemistry. The resources required range from books, study materials, and online sources. The advantage of living in the age of technology is that you have easy access to many materials. You can find electronic versions of chemistry textbooks, books, and research papers. By simply searching in Google, you can quickly find chemistry research articles that you may find helpful.
In finding material, it’s important that you focus first on the topics covered in your class. Stick to your chemistry level first. Once you have mastered it, it’s time to expand into other areas which are not covered in your class discussion or have not been thoroughly discussed.
Aside from reading these materials, it’s important to test your knowledge along the way. One way of doing this is by taking a practical online chemistry test. There are plenty of tests out there which will help you gauge your knowledge and assess what you have learned and what you still need to work on.
Taking a practical chemistry test online can help you do well in your classroom’s standardized chemistry exams. This practice will also allow you to get used to taking exams, helping you gain confidence and be fully prepared for the actual exam. In addition, you should also try solving chemistry problems and practice as much as you can.
Here are the skills you need in order to learn chemistry effectively:
1. An understanding of the foundations of chemistry
While chemistry is a scientific field in itself, it includes several subfields which are interrelated with each other. This means that in order to learn chemistry as a whole, students must have a foundational knowledge of the many subfields, namely: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
In studying these subject areas, students must understand each subfields’ theories, applications, and experimental evidence, amongst other areas.
2. Laboratory skills
Chemistry is not just written knowledge, and a large part of studying chemistry happens in the laboratory. Students should therefore develop the laboratory skills required to undertake experiments since, after graduation, chemistry majors may well end up working in a laboratory, whether in an academic, industrial, or commercial setting.
Laboratory skills include hands-on experience with the glassware, laboratory instruments, techniques, and the other specialists equipment found in a laboratory setting. Having the necessary laboratory skills can help you go a long way in learning to design experiments and conducting collaborative investigations. These laboratory findings will need also to be analyzed and conclusions drawn based on the results of the analysis.
3. Well-developed analytical skills
In order to make sense of your findings in the laboratory, you will need well-developed analytical skills. Such skills will allow you to draw reasonable and appropriate conclusions from whatever data and results you have collected at the laboratory.
This is where the importance of formal statistics techniques come in. Such techniques are helpful in assessing the precision, significance, and even the uncertainty of the data. Students must be familiar with both commercial software and sophisticated chemical computation software which are essential for data manipulation and data presentation.
4. Presenting chemistry through communication skills
Now that you have analyzed the data and have drawn reasonable conclusions from your results, it’s time to communicate these findings to a wider audience. In order to do this well, you will need to have good communication skills.
There are many written communication formats available for chemists. The ability to communicate your results through formal, written reports is essential, but you should also be able and willing to discuss and communicate chemistry in informal situations. Hence, developing good communication skills in life can prove very helpful within the study of chemistry.
5. Making use of effective research tools
Chemistry knowledge has a lot to do with research and chemistry students are expected to undertake their own independent research projects. Essential research skills include proper referencing and the appropriate use of literature. Students must be well-versed in developing hypotheses, designing a method to test such hypotheses, carrying out the method, and then evaluating the results. These tools will come handy not only in the study of chemistry, but also in the study of other sciences and fields.
It’s important to study chemistry. However, in order to study chemistry effectively, you must first learn to love the subject, and learn to be curious about things. Chemistry is much part of our daily lives and many of the things happening around us involve chemical reactions of one form or another. Hence, taking a life skills-based approach to studying chemistry will work.
If you think of chemistry as an essential aspect of life, you will learn to fall in love with the subject. Everything around us is chemistry: the food we eat, the air we breathe, the cleaning products we use at home, everything. It’s amazing to learn how a combination of elements can form the myriad of things that we encounter in our daily lives.
Combining life skills with textbook knowledge will make you an outstanding student of chemistry. You’ll be able to grasp both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, and you’ll easily learn concepts, formulas, and theories and apply them in both real life and real-world situations.