26th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education
Invited Plenary Speaker
Judith Bennett is the Salters’ Professor of Science Education and leader of the University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG). Prior to taking on the role of Salters’ Professor in 2014, Judith was Head of the Department of Education at the University of York for eight years.Before joining the Department of Education at York, Judith spent eight years as a secondary science teacher, mainly in London. During this period, she studied part-time for an MA and then a PhD, at King’s College in London, researching gender issues in science education. Judith’s research is underpinned by a desire to make science accessible and engaging for all young people. She has undertaken a number of projects in the area of attitudes to science and in evaluating the impact of new approaches to science teaching on young people’s responses to science. She is currently leading two major research projects. The first is a project called Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST), which draws on high quality research evidence to develop resources for use in schools in order to help teachers tackle some of the major challenges in science education, such as assessment, teaching difficult ideas, and widening participation. The second is on the assessment of practical work in schools.
Ruby Hanson is the Dean of the Faculty of Science Education and an Associate Professor of Chemistry Education, in the University of Education, Winneba (Ghana), which is the leading teacher education institute in Sub-Saharan Africa. She obtained her Ph.D (Chemistry Education) from the University of Education. She holds an M.Phil (Analytical and Environmental Chemistry) from the University of Cape Coast, where she carried out research in chemical toxicology. She also holds a Certificate degree in Designing & Facilitating E-Learning from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, as well as certificates from the Utrecht and Vrije Universiteit in Development and Research in Science and Mathematics Education. Ruby heads a Science Team that is spearheading a revolutionary national curriculum transformation. Professor Hanson is a recipient of a District Best Teacher Award as well as many other awards at both local and international conferences and workshops. Ruby Hanson’s current research focuses on finding out students’ conceptual challenges and remediating them through innovative and interactive strategies. Development of e-courseware, the use of micro science equipment for conceptual labs, and the preparation of science teacher trainees for teaching are her current projects.
Thomas Holme is a Morrill Professor in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University. He received his PhD from Rice University in Texas and held postdoctoral positions at Hebrew University and the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zambia. He served as the Director of the ACS Examinations Institute from 2002-2015 and received the Pimentel Award for chemical education from the ACS in 2017. He has been chosen as the 9th Editor in Chief of the Journal of Chemical Education, assuming the role in January of 2020. His research interests in chemistry education encompass assessment, the development of technology tools for student learning and assessment and the development of curricular tools to add context-based content and systems thinking in General Chemistry courses.
Elizabeth Muvhanga is an Associate Professor of Chemical Education, and a Deputy Head of School (Research) at the Wits University School of Education (WSoE) in Johannesburg, where she drives the renewed vision of turning the institution into a research-led school of education. Prof. Mavhunga joined the WSoE as a senior lecturer in 2013, following completion of her PhD studies at the same University in 2.5 years. Her contributions in the school include streamlining and knitting together the science methodology courses, across the B.Ed programme, with a common theoretical framework called Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). In the field of PCK, she conceptualized a theoretical model that distinguishes PCK at a topic level as Topic Specific PCK (TSPCK).Her research work with the TSPCK framework has earned her various NRF research grants, a research rating in category C and two prestigious research awards, from the Southern African Association for Research in Maths, Science and Technology Education in the category of Earlier Career Research Award, and the South African Chemical Institute award for Chemistry Education. She has published several articles in the Department of Higher Education and Training accredited local and ISI international peer reviewed journals, authored several book chapters, and presented in many local and international science education conferences. Prof. Mavhunga’s research work is warmly received in the global science education community.
Hannah Sevian completed her Ph.D. in 1992 in theoretical chemistry, and subsequently conducted postdoctoral study in theoretical polymer chemistry. After teaching high school chemistry and physics for 7 years in the Boston area in the United States, and then more postdoctoral research in experimental materials science, she joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she has been since 2001, except for a two-year interlude (2009-11) as a program officer at the US National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on how students develop chemical thinking across the decade from secondary to tertiary chemistry, how a focus on green chemistry influences students’ learning of chemistry, how scientists and teachers develop responsive classroom assessment practices that promote students’ meaning making in chemistry, and how chemistry teachers lead from the classroom in peer-led professional development with other teachers. Her work has been published in educational journals including Chemistry Education Research and Practice, the Journal of Chemical Education, the International Journal of Science Education, and Cultural Studies of Science Education, and in the science education section of Science. The awards she treasures most are the Boston Higher Education Partnership Service Award and the UMass President’s Award for Public Service, both in recognition of her commitment to the quality of public science education and access to higher education for students in Boston.