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Analyse didactique de l'enseignement-apprentissage de la chimie organique jusqu'à bac+2 pour envisager sa restructuration

Abstract : Organic chemistry is often considered as a difficult subject to teach and to learn. Students tend to see memorisation as a priority, and this is detrimental to developing reasoning in relation to models of chemical reactivity. The aim of our research was to provide knowledge that would be useful to improve the teaching and learning of organic chemistry in the first two years of a higher education course. We focussed our study on 1/ the effects of the way this teaching is currently structured : we wanted to determine how far this could be modified without altering the content, 2/ the different ways of teaching organic synthesis, reaction models and mechanisms and 3/ organic chemistry teachers at work. Three studies were carried out. The first one aimed to determine whether students were able to reason by using the models, rather than merely memorizing and reciting. The tasks given to students in higher education evaluations and national teaching exams were analysed, and then we inferred the strategies used by students to resolve problems by analyzing of the way the models work. We also studied the relevance of the way the teaching syllabus and organic chemistry books were structured. In our second study we analyzed the way 9 organic chemistry teachers claim to teach in order to interpret the way they work. Our findings then enabled us to design a first version of an educational tool for teachers. This tool was tested during our third study which involved four pairs of teachers who were asked to simulate the planning of a lesson in class. Our results highlight the fact that the tasks given to the students and the structuring of teaching by functional groups which is currently prevalent encourage students to use memorizing and reciting strategies rather than using modelling strategies. We suggest for example an overall restructuring of contents by increased modelling around the questions raised by organic chemists. We also propose that a data base - which we have chosen to call a ‘réactiothèque’ (catalogue of reactions) - should be used, and that modelling or organic synthesis should be taught in the early years of higher education courses. Teachers seem to be limited by the constraints of current institutional prescriptions and by their professional genre. They also lack Pedagogical Content Knowledge of modelling and organic synthesis in these early years, as well as PCK of the management of conclusion phases. Teachers were in two minds about the value of this educational tool. However they did manage to implement some aspects by adapting their practices to this tool, thereby enabling us to consider future improvements possible
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Submitted on : Monday, February 13, 2012 - 4:33:12 PM
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David Lafarge. Analyse didactique de l'enseignement-apprentissage de la chimie organique jusqu'à bac+2 pour envisager sa restructuration. Education. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010CLF20015⟩. ⟨tel-00578419v2⟩

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