Google+ The Pathashala Times: A Unique Chemistry Class - True Story

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Unique Chemistry Class - True Story

The blog post gets the tag 'True Story' because it is pulled from one of my own memories of school days. In the 8th class (or grade 8), we got upgraded from learning general science (till grade 7) to specific branches of science--physics, biology and chemistry. It was the first time we had three different textbooks in our science curriculum, and hence three different teachers to teach them with three different styles. Our chemistry teacher had completely different way of teaching. Probably, he was the first one to introduce me to the exploratory learning concept.

Our syllabus primarily focused on introduction to the elements and covered their physical/chemical properties, uses, so on and so forth. Our teacher hardly spent time with us in the classroom, may be he didn't believe in reading out information in the class and making it a dull and boring lecture. Instead, he use to take us to the laboratory, show us the elements and actually allow us to experiment and test their properties under his surveillance. So, I learned that sodium when in contact with water explodes by actually dropping a tiny piece of sodium in water, and knew that hydrocloric acid has irritating pungent odour before my teacher told me so.

Almost all our lectures, throughout the year, were completed in the laboratory and we had hardly felt it as a lecture. Our curious minds and playful hearts just had fun experimenting and exploring. And in the due course, we had learned so much and so well that our basics in chemistry remained with us, always.

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