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Topic: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?  (Read 12289 times)

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Offline spirochete

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Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« on: October 09, 2008, 08:03:10 PM »
I live in the united states.  I am interested in organic chem which is not taught in highschool, so that leaves university or community college level.  I understand I'll have to do some research but really I am passionate about teaching.

Are there programs that would allow me to focus my education in this way?  Anyone have any advice?  This is sort of a continuation of another thread but my question has a new focus.

Offline macman104

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 08:21:39 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't know of any schools that offer a degree meant for preparing you to teach chemistry at a college level.  I do know that there are programs that would help prepare you to teach math/science education (our schools has such a program).  If you want to teach organic at a 4-year accredited college, then it is likely you are going to need a Ph.D in chemistry.  However, if you want to teach at a community college, then they might let you teach with a bachelors in chemistry.  One possibility would be to major in chemistry and get a master's in education or something related.

Just some random thoughts...

Also, as an FYI, especially at a university, you may not get to dictate what courses you initially teach.  They may have you teaching freshman chemistry, or something, and it may not be the same year to year.

Offline Mitch

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 08:35:59 PM »
I believe Wisconsin has a chemical education degree program. Programs exist, you just have to hunt for them a little bit more.

Link: http://ice.chem.wisc.edu/
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Offline spirochete

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2008, 08:54:29 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't know of any schools that offer a degree meant for preparing you to teach chemistry at a college level.  I do know that there are programs that would help prepare you to teach math/science education (our schools has such a program).  If you want to teach organic at a 4-year accredited college, then it is likely you are going to need a Ph.D in chemistry.  However, if you want to teach at a community college, then they might let you teach with a bachelors in chemistry.  One possibility would be to major in chemistry and get a master's in education or something related.

Just some random thoughts...

Also, as an FYI, especially at a university, you may not get to dictate what courses you initially teach.  They may have you teaching freshman chemistry, or something, and it may not be the same year to year.

Yeah I would be thrilled to teach at a community college.  I am definitely willing to get master's degree but I'm not sure I have the stamina to go through a whole phd program where the focus is on on research, 40+ hours a week.   At the same time though I respect that doing some research is necessary to give you perspective on the scientific process and also to learn about what is cutting edge in the field.

   At the same time, I am the undergraduate teaching assistant for the organic class at my school and people would rather go to me for help than the grad students.  Why did everybody decide you have to be focused on research to teach this subject?   

I wish I liked gen chem more so I could be a highschool teacher!

Offline macman104

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 08:55:31 PM »

Offline spirochete

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 02:55:22 PM »
Thanks I am going to email some people at those schools

Offline LQ43

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 10:04:57 PM »
This is probably perfect for you:

http://www.terrificscience.org/about/pdfs/surveyofdoc.pdf

Good link, yes, those are the players in the chem ed field.

Chem ed is as much about psychology (not sure if they make you take any of those courses though)as it is about chemistry  and also about statistical data treatment of how effective new methods are.

However, if you want to teach at a community college, then they might let you teach with a bachelors in chemistry.  One possibility would be to major in chemistry and get a master's in education or something related.


I know these were just ideas, but I hope not.  I do know some CCs have adjuncts who are seasoned high school chem teachers (some do have Masters but many have just bachelors) and they are very good but usually restricted to an intro course.  A full time instructor must have a Masters in Chem, not a Masters in education with a BSc in chem.

Although it can be a long road, the Ph.D. will give you lots more experience in the chemistry and all the principles and as a grad student you'll get recitation classes to fulfill your teaching craving too. IMHO this degree will put you in a much better standing to get a fulltime organic position at a CC or give you the option of going on to get a position at 4 yr school.

Offline macman104

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Re: Masters degree in chemistry with focus on teaching?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 03:58:27 AM »
However, if you want to teach at a community college, then they might let you teach with a bachelors in chemistry.  One possibility would be to major in chemistry and get a master's in education or something related.

I know these were just ideas, but I hope not.  I do know some CCs have adjuncts who are seasoned high school chem teachers (some do have Masters but many have just bachelors) and they are very good but usually restricted to an intro course.  A full time instructor must have a Masters in Chem, not a Masters in education with a BSc in chem.
You're right, I was just talking outta my a** I think.  I probably should have stated more clearly that I didn't really have any experience or knowledge to back up my statement.  It was merely out of my perceptions about CC, sorry about that.

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