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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter August 6, 2018

Chemistry Teacher International, best practices in chemistry education

From the journal Chemistry International

Jan Apotheker, Chair Committee on Chemistry Education, IUPAC

Iwona Maciejowska, chair Division on Chemical Education, EuCheMS

The first issue of Chemistry Teacher International (CTI) will appear in June 2018 and will be presented at the 24th International Conference on Chemistry Engineering (ICCE) in Sydney, Australia. The second issue, to be published in November, will contain material from ICCE, as well as from the upcoming European Conference on Research in Chemical Education (ECRICE) to be held in September in Warsaw.

Chemistry Teacher International (ISSN 2569-3263) is a new online Open Access journal launched in a collaboration between IUPAC’s Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) and De Gruyter. Articles will be available in HTML and PDF formats. The Editors-in-Chief of the journal are the chair of the CCE, Jan Apotheker, and the chair of the Division of Chemical Education of EuCheMS, Iwona Maciejowska.

The journal aims to publish good practice examples of education from around the world. Activities presented at conferences, such as the Network of InterAsian Chemistry Educators (NICE), African Conference on Research in Chemistry Education (ACRICE), and ECRICE will be sources of material for the journal. Instead of publishing a proceedings book, a special issue of the journal can be published, containing a wealth of material presented at the conference. Of course, activities at ICCE conferences will also be presented. Organizers of Science Olympiads, such as the International Junior Science Olympiad, the European Science Olympiad, and the International Chemistry Olympiad, are strongly invited to discuss the exams from their final rounds in the journal.


For the past two years, CCE has discussed the possibility of starting a journal focused on chemistry education. There had been a publication for some time, which folded more than 10 years ago due to a lack of articles. The format at the time was not very attractive. It did not rise above the level of the magazine of, for example, Jan’s golf club, which is even glossier and has a better lay out. It was dittoed or stenciled on regular paper, stapled in the middle, etc.


In 2012, Marcy Towns and Adam Kraft (Towns & Kraft, 2012) published an article in which they identified a number of journals focusing on chemistry and science education.

For chemistry they identified:

  1. Chemistry Education Research and Practice (UK)

  2. Journal of Chemical Education (USA)

  3. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (USA)

  4. Journal of Research in Science Teaching (USA)

  5. Science Education (USA)

  6. Research in Science Education (AUS)

  7. International Journal of Science Education (UK)

  8. The Chemical Educator (USA)

  9. Australian Journal of Education in Chemistry (AUS)

  10. Education in Chemistry (UK)

  11. Educacion Química (MEX)

For science they found:

  1. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education (INT)

  1. Science and Education (Netherlands)

  2. School Science Review (UK)

  3. International Journal of Science and Environmental Education (INT)

  4. International Journal of Mathematics and Science (INT)

  5. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching (USA)

  6. Journal of Science & Technology Education Research (INT)

  7. Research in Science and Technological Education (UK)

  8. Revista Ensenanza de las Ciencias (Spain)

  9. Studies in Science Education (INT)

  10. Acta Didactica Napocensia (Romania)

  11. Primary Science (UK)

  12. International Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (INT)

The journals mentioned above are all journals that focus mainly on Chemistry education research or more broadly on science education research. As far as we can tell there are two journals that publish good practice articles about chemistry education: The Journal of Chemical Education (ISSN: 0021-9584&1938-1328) and the World Journal of Chemical Education (ISSN: 2375-1655&1657). However, both focus mainly on experiments in higher education. There are hardly any publications about secondary education.

Journals focusing on secondary education are journals like The Science Teacher published by National Science Teachers Association, Education in Science and School Science Review, published by The Association for Science Education in the UK, Chemie & Schule published in Austria, Chemkon published in Germany, NVOX published in the Netherlands, and ‘La chimica nella scuola published in Italy. These are all national journals, published in the national language. There is no international journal as such.

In 2016, Keith Taber (Taber, 2016) wrote an editorial in Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP), titled What is wrong with ‘practice’ papers. In the article he argues why a number of types of papers are not published in CERP. More specifically he explains and argues what chemistry education research is what it is not. He goes on to explain why good practice papers should not be published in CERP. Basically, the idea is that good practices even when evaluated properly do not add to the scientific knowledge and educational knowledge as such. Besides it does not help bridge the gap between research and practice.

Focus of CTI

The Chemistry Teacher International will be focused on publishing articles focusing on:

  1. Good practice in chemistry education at all levels

  2. Reports about development in chemistry education

  3. Papers presented in conferences about Chemistry education such as: ICCE, ECRICE, NICE, ACRICE, and EUROVARIETY

Reports from educational activities of the Divisions and Standing Committees in IUPAC for publications in the field of education.

The journal aims to be a platform for articles that would otherwise only be published in a local language. As education and outreach are becoming more and more important for chemistry, a journal publishing good practices and research about chemistry education and possibly outreach is valuable addition to the publications of IUPAC.

Target group

CTI publishes for chemistry education researchers who are interested in good practices, teachers in secondary education, and people involved in the governance of secondary education. Articles in Chemistry Teacher International may serve as an example for others in creating policies. Articles about the microscale chemistry sets that have been developed in South Africa (Taylor, 2011) and in Thailand ( may serve as examples for other states in the area to implement these microscale chemistry sets as well. Articles about practice may inspire researchers for future research. For example, CTI can ask why something works in one setting and not in another.

Secondary school teachers will also be interested in CTI as well. In the EU project IRRESISTIBLE (Apotheker et al., 2016) a study was made of the teachers participating in that project. They were characterized according to a model developed by Rogers (Frank, Zhao, & Borman), which uses characterizations like: early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. This model is important in the theme of innovations and implementation. In IRRESISTIBLE, most teachers were categorized as ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority.’ One of the important factors in innovation is providing teachers with information. Not all teachers will be interested in articles in CTI, but early adoptors certainly will be.

CCE stimulates teachers to attend the ICCE. In Kuching in 2016 about 80 teachers from Japan participated in the ICCE. A number of Malaysian teachers were present as well at the ICCE. In 2018 at the ICCE in Sydney the ICCE will overlap one day with the conference of the National Teachers Association. The teachers attending these conferences will undoubtedly be teachers in a certain level of concern about innovations and renewal of education. Some of the teachers are working on a PhD and teach part time. That is the group we are trying to interest as both authors as well as readers of CTI.


CCE has in total about 27 active members as National Representatives and Titular Members. This group will play a vital role both as editors as well as authors and more specific co-authors, together with local teachers. The same goes for the members of the Division of Chemical Education of EuCheMS. Most of them have agreed to be both reviewer as well as author for the journal. As most of these members are researchers in chemistry education, CTI can also serve as a way to narrow the gap between research and practice.

Special issues

The journal will have special issues. Division IV, the polymer division, has organized a large number of educational activities which could be published through CTI. In 2019, A special issue about the Periodic Table is plausible as well. Conferences wanting a special issue can easily budget that into the cost of the conference.

Open access

The journal will be open access and peer-reviewed. It will be distributed through De Gruyter. Open access is an important condition for teachers. Most journals that are available within academia are not available for teachers because of the cost.

That does mean there will be a fee for publication. A fee of USD 150 per article is indicative of the cost of publishing.

All in all, CCE thinks Chemistry Teacher International can be a valuable addition in innovation and renewal for education. It can also serve as a vehicle for the publication of education-related articles from the divisions. As education and outreach are becoming more and more important for chemistry a journal publishing good practices and research about chemistry education and possibly outreach is valuable addition to the publications of IUPAC.


We thank the members of CCE as well as the members of the Division of Chemical Education of EuCheMS for their participation. Special thanks to Richard Hartshorn and Bonnie Lawlor for their help in making this journal a viable proposition. The help and cooperation of De Gruyter, and specifically Spencer McGrath is greatly appreciated.


1. Apotheker, J. H., Blonder, R., Akaygun, S., Reis, P., Kampschulte, L., & Laherto, A. (2016). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 89(2), pp. 211-219; in Google Scholar

2. Frank, K. A., Zhao, Y., & Borman, K. Sociology of Education, 77(2), 148-171. 10.1177/003804070407700203Search in Google Scholar

3. Kreijns, K., Vermeulen, M., Kirschner, P. A., van Buuren, H., & Van Acker, F. (2013). Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 22(1), 55-71. 10.1080/1475939X.2012.754371Search in Google Scholar

4. Liu, Y., & Huang, C. European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(1), 35-47. 10.1080/02619760500039928Search in Google Scholar

5. Taber, K. S. (2016). Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 17, 639. 10.1039/C6RP90009GSearch in Google Scholar

6. Taylor, W. (2011). School Science Review, 92(340), 57-60. 10.1029/2011EO400005Search in Google Scholar

7. Towns, M. H., & Kraft, A. (2012).. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 16-20. 10.1021/ed100929gSearch in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2018-08-06
Published in Print: 2018-07-01

©2018 IUPAC & De Gruyter. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For more information, please visit:

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