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Topic: High achievers  (Read 6980 times)

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Offline mike

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High achievers
« on: November 17, 2005, 08:17:53 PM »
So we are just about to start a "high achiever programme" here and was wondering what peoples opinions are on the topic, as no doubt some of you have been involved yourselves as high achieving students.

This is for students who have finished school in the highest percentile and need to be offered something more at university. I am only involved in the laboratory side of this programme but I imagine that such high achievers would like to be involved in more stimulating lab work.

I have proposed ideas along the lines of, for example, when it is time to investigate thermodynamics rather than use a coffee cup calorimeter these students would rather use a bomb calorimeter. Or, rather than do an "experiment" on solids where molecular models kits are utilised these students could run a simple x-ray diffraction of NaCl or similar.

I guess the question is if you were/are/could have been a "high achiever" would you rather play with better equipment or are you happier to just ponder "harder" or "deeper" conceptual ideas?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2005, 08:18:22 PM by mike »
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Offline Borek

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Re:High achievers
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2005, 04:13:46 AM »
I guess the question is if you were/are/could have been a "high achiever" would you rather play with better equipment or are you happier to just ponder "harder" or "deeper" conceptual ideas?

Depends - some like experimental work, some don't, so it is hard to say what wil better suit them at the lab end.
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Re:High achievers
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2005, 04:39:00 AM »
I think giving people an option separates the ambitious from the non-ambitious.  whether or not the ambitious are high-achieving is another matter.  ultimately I believe that your proposition is the best way to produce, or rather discover, the best potential chemists that are out there.  

personally i think we should expect much from our so-called high-achievers and challenge them much more than we do today, even if it challenges our current, in my opinion, fanciful, understanding of their capabilities. i firmly believe that hard curriculums are the way to produce better chemists and students in general. i do not believe in hand holding or sacrificing curriculums for the sake of increased participation.

Offline Mitch

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Re:High achievers
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2005, 05:08:39 AM »
I personally don’t believe is separatist academic environments for students. So, I’ll leave this discussion.
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Re:High achievers
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2005, 02:51:32 PM »
students will separate themselves regardless, usually in the form of a bell-curve.

Offline mike

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Re:High achievers
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2005, 05:59:28 PM »
Quote
I personally don’t believe is separatist academic environments for students. So, I’ll leave this discussion.

I can see the pros and cons of both schools of thought on  this. I have a problem with it in that if you are putting effort in to these students why not put the same effort into all the students.

I think our programme (on the practical chemistry side) is going to be more of an interest thing fo the high achievers. We are going to offer them extra activities during their lab sessions, on top of what the rest fo the class has to do, and these will not be assessed. I have made the assumption that the majority of the rest of the students wouldn't want to participate in a non-assessed activity (maybe the wrong assumption, I don't know)
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