This Festschrift stands as a tribute to a scholar known as a giant in the field of chemical education. Welcome to the Festschrift to George M. Bodner, who was the Arthur E. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University. Professor Bodner was born on March 8, 1946, in Rochester, NY. He graduated from SUNY […]

This Festschrift stands as a tribute to a scholar known as a giant in the field of chemical education. Welcome to the Festschrift to George M. Bodner, who was the Arthur E. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University.

Professor Bodner was born on March 8, 1946, in Rochester, NY. He graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 1969 with a B.S. in Chemistry and entered graduate school at Indiana University. He earned his Ph. D. in 1972 in inorganic and organic chemistry, and his early research interests focused on the application of C-13 NMR spectroscopy to studies of structure and bonding in organometallic complexes.

His career began at Illinois (1972-75), followed by Stephens College (1975-77). Then he joined the faculty at Purdue in 1977, becoming the Arthur E. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in 2000. Professor Bodner and Dudley Herron created one of the first graduate programs in chemical education in the nation. With more than 100 Ph.D. graduates, the program became the premiere program that chemistry departments emulated.

His career at Purdue was highlighted by enormous accomplishments and contributions in teaching, research, service, and engagement. He taught thousands of students in our general chemistry program, teaching CHM 11500-11600 for many years. Professor Bodner was tireless in his research and support of chemical education, having mentored more than 50 masters and doctoral students. He and his students developed materials to improve undergraduate instruction, conducted groundbreaking research on how students learn undergraduate chemistry, and delved into the history and philosophy of science. He published more than 150 papers, over 50 book chapters, laboratory manuals, and books, including a general chemistry textbook titled Chemistry: An Experimental Science, with colleague Harry Pardue. His 1986 paper in theJournal of Chemical Education, Constructivism: A Theory of Knowledge, is among the all-time most cited papers in chemistry education approaching 2,000 citations.

Professor Bodner served on the ACS Board of Directors 2011-2016 and numerous ACS committees. He spearheaded the society’s formation of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), where he convinced the ACS Board to fund the creation of a new organization run by K-12 teachers of chemistry for K-12 teachers of chemistry. Today the AACT has grown to more than 4,000 members. He helped organize the ACS Division of Chemical Education’s Biennial Conference on Chemical Education when it was at Purdue in both 1988 and 2006. Finally, he served in the chair succession for the ACS Division of Chemical Education, 2011-2013.

Professor Bodner is the only person to have won the ACS Pimentel Award in Chemical Education (2003), the Royal Society of Chemistry Nyholm Prize for Education (2003), the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry sponsored by the ACS Northeastern Section (2010), and the ACS Award for the Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry (2018). He was a Fellow of both the ACS and the RSC. He received the highest honor Purdue confers onto a member of the faculty when he received the Morrill Award in 2013. This award recognizes Purdue faculty who best exhibit excellence in, and synergies among, all three dimensions of the professoriate – teaching, research, and service.

Professor Bodner passed away on March 19, 2021, at the age of 75, leaving an enormous impact on the field of chemical education as a mentor, researcher, and pioneer. Across his career he guided and published work that grounded the field theoretically and influenced researchers for decades. He helped chemists understand how students approached solving chemistry problems and guided the foundational studies centered on student understanding of organic chemistry, harkening back to his graduate school training in organic chemistry.

This Festschrift collects articles from ACS Publications that are aligned with the following themes:

  1. Constructivism as a lens for understanding student learning
  2. Student conceptualization of organic chemistry
  3. Understanding student approaches to problems solving
  4. Visualization and spatial reasoning skills in chemistry education
  5. Conceptual Understanding of Chemistry.

Each theme contains articles authored by Professor Bodner, his graduate students, and/or his collaborators, as well as more recent articles that speak to the powerful legacy of his work in the field. The themes exhibit complementarity and overlap with each other, characterizing the synergy and significance of Professor Bodner’s work. Indeed, it is difficult to confine his influence to five themes, given the numerous ways his work shaped and inspired the field. We hope that you can hear his booming voice as you read the words he carefully crafted in his articles and be inspired by his pioneering legacy.
Constructivism as a Lens for Understanding Student Learning
Constructivism: A theory of knowledge
George M. Bodner
Journal of Chemical Education 1986 63 (10), 873
DOI: 10.1021/ed063p873
The Many Forms of Constructivism
George Bodner, Michael Klobuchar, and David Geelan
Journal of Chemical Education 2001 78 (8), 1107
DOI: 10.1021/ed078p1107.4
Chemistry Education and the Post-constructivist Perspective of Bruno Latour
Donald. J. Wink
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (12), 4268-4275
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00263
Development of the Reaction Coordinate Diagram Inventory: Measuring Student Thinking and Confidence
Molly B. Atkinson, Maia Popova, Michael Croisant, Daniel J. Reed, and Stacey Lowery Bretz
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (7), 1841-1851
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b01186
Construction by De-construction
Gautam Bhattacharyya
Journal of Chemical Education 2019 96 (7), 1294-1297
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00579
Peer-Led Team Learning in General Chemistry I: Interactions with Identity, Academic Preparation, and a Course-Based Intervention
Regina F. Frey, Angela Fink, Michael J. Cahill, Mark A. McDaniel, and Erin D. Solomon
Journal of Chemical Education 2018 95 (12), 2103-2113
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00375
Zero-Order Chemical Kinetics as a Context to Investigate Student Understanding of Catalysts and Half-Life
Kinsey Bain, Jon-Marc G. Rodriguez, Marcy H. Towns,
Journal of Chemical Education 2018 95 (5), 716-725
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00974
Preparation for College General Chemistry: More than Just a Matter of Content Knowledge Acquisition
Mark S. Cracolice and Brittany D. Busby
Journal of Chemical Education 2015 92 (11), 1790-1797
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00146
Constructivist Frameworks in Chemistry Education and the Problem of the “Thumb in the Eye”
Donald J. Wink
Journal of Chemical Education 2014 91 (5), 617-622
DOI: 10.1021/ed400739b
Student Conceptualization of Organic Reactions
“It Gets Me to the Product”: How Students Propose Organic Mechanisms
Gautam Bhattacharyya and George M. Bodner
Journal of Chemical Education 2005 82 (9), 1402
DOI: 10.1021/ed082p1402
The Shrewd Guess: Can a Software System Assist Students in Hypothesis-Driven Learning for Organic Chemistry?
Julia E. Winter, Joseph Engalan, Sarah E. Wegwerth, Gianna J. Manchester, Michael T. Wentzel, Michael J. Evans, James E. Kabrhel, and Lawrence J. Yee
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (12), 4520-4526
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00246
Thinking in Alternatives—A Task Design for Challenging Students’ Problem-Solving Approaches in Organic Chemistry
Leonie Lieber and Nicole Graulich
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (10), 3731-3738
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00248
Using the Research Literature to Develop an Adaptive Intervention to Improve Student Explanations of an SN1 Reaction Mechanism
Amber J. Dood, John C. Dood, Daniel Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano, Kimberly B. Fields, and Jeffrey R. Raker
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (10), 3551-3562
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00569
Exploring Student Thinking about Addition Reactions
Solaire A. Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Field M. Watts, Michael N. Petterson, Sabrina R. Archer, Emma P. Snyder-White, and Ginger V. Shultz
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (7), 1852-1862
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00141
Arrows on the Page Are Not a Good Gauge: Evidence for the Importance of Causal Mechanistic Explanations about Nucleophilic Substitution in Organic Chemistry
Olivia M. Crandell, Macy A. Lockhart, and Melanie M. Cooper
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (2), 313-327
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00815
Organic Chemistry Students’ Understandings of What Makes a Good Leaving Group
Maia Popova and Stacey Lowery Bretz
Journal of Chemical Education 2018 95 (7), 1094-1101
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00198
A Comparison of How Undergraduates, Graduate Students, and Professors Organize Organic Chemistry Reactions
Kelli R. Galloway, Min Wah Leung, and Alison B. Flynn
Journal of Chemical Education 2018 95 (3), 355-365
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00743
Evaluation of a Flipped, Large-Enrollment Organic Chemistry Course on Student Attitude and Achievement
Suazette R. Mooring, Chloe E. Mitchell, and Nikita L. Burrows
Journal of Chemical Education 2016 93 (12), 1972-1983
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00367
Understanding Student Approaches to Problem Solving
Using Students’ Representations Constructed during Problem Solving To Infer Conceptual Understanding
Daniel Domin and George Bodner
Journal of Chemical Education 2012 89 (7), 837-843
DOI: 10.1021/ed1006037
Developing Expertise in 1H NMR Spectral Interpretation
Megan C. Connor, Benjamin H. Glass, Solaire A. Finkenstaedt-Quinn, and Ginger V. Shultz
The Journal of Organic Chemistry 2021 86 (2), 1385-1395
DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.0c01398
Introducing Molecular Structural Analysis Using a Guided Systematic Approach Combined with an Interactive Multiplatform Web Application
Armélinda Agnello, Stéphane Vanberg, Céline Tonus, Bernard Boigelot, Laurent Leduc, Christian Damblon, and Jean-François Focant
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (12), 4330-4338
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00329
NMR Spectra through the Eyes of a Student: Eye Tracking Applied to NMR Items
Joseph J. Topczewski, Anna M. Topczewski, Hui Tang, Lisa K. Kendhammer, and Norbert J. Pienta
Journal of Chemical Education 2017 94 (1), 29-37
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00528
Evaluating the Content and Response Process Validity of Data from the Chemical Concepts Inventory
Paul Schwartz and Jack Barbera
Journal of Chemical Education 2014 91 (5), 630-640
DOI: 10.1021/ed400716p
Concept Learning versus Problem Solving: Evaluating a Threat to the Validity of a Particulate Gas Law Question
Michael J. Sanger, C. Kevin Vaughn, and David A. Binkley
Journal of Chemical Education 2013 90 (6), 700-709
DOI: 10.1021/ed200809a
Visualization and Spatial Reasoning Skills in Chemistry Education
A Review of Spatial Ability Literature, Its Connection to Chemistry, and Implications for Instruction
Marissa Harle and Marcy Towns,
Journal of Chemical Education 2011 88 (3), 351-360
DOI: 10.1021/ed900003n
Interactive 3D Visualization of Chemical Structure Diagrams Embedded in Text to Aid Spatial Learning Process of Students
Amal Fatemah, Shahzad Rasool, and Uzma Habib
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (4), 992-1000
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00690
Promotion of Spatial Skills in Chemistry and Biochemistry Education at the College Level
Maria Oliver-Hoyo and Melissa A. Babilonia-Rosa
Journal of Chemical Education 2017 94 (8), 996-1006
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00094
The Role of Spatial Ability and Strategy Preference for Spatial Problem Solving in Organic Chemistry
Mike Stieff, Minjung Ryu, Bonnie Dixon, and Mary Hegarty
Journal of Chemical Education 2012 89 (7), 854-859
DOI: 10.1021/ed200071d
The Effect of Viewing Order of Macroscopic and Particulate Visualizations on Students’ Particulate Explanations
Vickie M. Williamson, Sarah M. Lane, Travis Gilbreath, Roy Tasker, Guy Ashkenazi, Kenneth C. Williamson, and Ronald D. Macfarlane
Journal of Chemical Education 2012 89 (8), 979-987
DOI: 10.1021/ed100828x
Using Molecular Representations To Aid Student Understanding of Stereochemical Concepts
Michael Abraham, Valsamma Varghese, and Hui Tang
Journal of Chemical Education 2010 87 (12), 1425-1429
DOI: 10.1021/ed100497f
Investigating Students’ Ability To Transfer Ideas Learned from Molecular Animations of the Dissolution Process
Resa M. Kelly and Loretta L. Jones
Journal of Chemical Education 2008 85 (2), 303
DOI: 10.1021/ed085p303
Conceptual Understanding of Chemistry
I Have Found You An Argument: The Conceptual Knowledge of Beginning Chemistry Graduate Students
George M. Bodner
Journal of Chemical Education 1991 68 (5), 385
DOI: 10.1021/ed068p385
Use of Simulations and Screencasts to Increase Student Understanding of Energy Concepts in Bonding
Jessica R. VandenPlas, Deborah G. Herrington, Alec D. Shrode, and Ryan D. Sweeder
Journal of Chemical Education 2021 98 (3), 730-744
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00470
Exploring Students’ Understanding of Resonance and Its Relationship to Instruction
Dihua Xue and Marilyne Stains
Journal of Chemical Education 2020 97 (4), 894-902
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c00066
Thinking Processes Associated with Undergraduate Chemistry Students’ Success at Applying a Molecular-Level Model in a New Context
Melonie A. Teichert, Lydia T. Tien, Lisa Dysleski, and Dawn Rickey
Journal of Chemical Education 2017 94 (9), 1195-1208
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00762
Core Ideas and Topics: Building Up or Drilling Down?
Melanie M. Cooper, Lynmarie A. Posey, and Sonia M. Underwood
Journal of Chemical Education 2017 94 (5), 541-548
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00900
Thinking Like a Chemist: Development of a Chemistry Card-Sorting Task To Probe Conceptual Expertise
Felicia E. Krieter, Ryan W. Julius, Kimberly D. Tanner, Seth D. Bush, and Gregory E. Scott
Journal of Chemical Education 2016 93 (5), 811-820
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00992
Defining Conceptual Understanding in General Chemistry
Thomas A. Holme, Cynthia J. Luxford, and Alexandra Brandriet
Journal of Chemical Education 2015 92 (9), 1477-1483
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00218

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