Chemistry: The Central Science (14th Edition)
To the Instructor
We authors of Chemistry: The Central Science are delighted and honored that you have chosen us as your instructional partners for your general chemistry class. Collectively we have taught general chemistry to multiple generations of students. So we understand the challenges and opportunities of teaching a class that so many students take. We have also been active researchers who appreciate both the learning and the discovery aspects of the chemical sciences. Our varied, wide-ranging experiences have formed the basis of the close collaborations we have enjoyed as coauthors. In writing our book, our focus is on the students: we try to ensure that the text is not only accurate and up-to-date but also clear and readable. We strive to convey the breadth of chemistry and the excitement that scientists experience in making new discoveries that contribute to our understanding of the physical world. We want the student to appreciate that chemistry is not a body of specialized knowledge that is separate from most aspects of modern life, but central to any attempt to address a host of societal concerns, including renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and improved human health.
Publishing the fourteenth edition of this text bespeaks an exceptionally long record of successful textbook writing. We are appreciative of the loyalty and support the book has received over the years, and mindful of our obligation to justify each new edition. We begin our approach to each new edition with an intensive author retreat, in which we ask ourselves the deep questions that we must answer before we can move forward. What justifies yet another edition? What is changing in the world not only of chemistry, but with respect to science education and the qualities of the students we serve? How can we help your students not only learn the principles of chemistry, but also become critical thinkers who can think more like chemists? The answers lie only partly in the changing face of chemistry itself. The introduction of many new technologies has changed the landscape in the teaching of sciences at all levels. The use of the Internet in accessing information and presenting learning materials has markedly changed the role of the textbook as one element among many tools for student learning. Our challenge as authors is to maintain the text as the primary source of chemical knowledge and practice, while at the same time integrating it with the new avenues for learning made possible by technology. This edition incorporates a number of those new methodologies, including use of computer-based classroom tools, such as Learning CatalyticsTM, a cloud-based active learning analytics and assessment system, and web-based tools, particularly MasteringChemistryTM, which is continually evolving to provide more effective means of testing and evaluating student performance, while giving the student immediate and helpful feedback. MasteringChemistryTM not only provides feedback on a question by question basis, but using Knewton- enhanced adaptive follow-up assignments and Dynamic Study Modules, it now continually adapts to each student, offering a personalized learning experience.
As authors, we want this text to be a central, indispensable learning tool for students. Whether as a physical book or in electronic form, it can be carried everywhere and used at any time. It is the best place students can go to obtain the information outside of the classroom needed for learning, skill development, reference, and test preparation. The text, more effectively than any other instrument, provides the depth of coverage and coherent background in modern chemistry that students need to serve their professional interests and, as appropriate, to prepare for more advanced chemistry courses.
If the text is to be effective in supporting your role as instructor, it must be addressed to the students. We have done our best to keep our writing clear and interesting and the book attractive and well illustrated. The book has numerous in-text study aids for students, including carefully placed descriptions of problemsolving strategies. We hope that our cumulative experiences as teachers is evident in our pacing, choice of examples, and the kinds of study aids and motivational tools we have employed. We believe students are more enthusiastic about learning chemistry when they see its importance relative to their own goals and interests; therefore, we have highlighted many important applications of chemistry in everyday life. We hope you make use of this material.
It is our philosophy, as authors, that the text and all the supplementary materials provided to support its use must work in concert with you, the instructor. A textbook is only as useful to students as the instructor permits it to be. This book is replete with features that help students learn and that can guide them as they acquire both conceptual understanding and problemsolving skills. There is a great deal here for the students to use, too much for all of it to be absorbed by any student in a oneyear course. You will be the guide to the best use of the book. Only with your active help will the students be able to utilize most effectively all that the text and its supplements offer. Students care about grades, of course, and with encouragement they will also become interested in the subject matter and care about learning. Please consider emphasizing features of the book that can enhance student appreciation of chemistry, such as the Chemistry Put To Work and Chemistry and Life boxes that show how chemistry impacts modern life and its relationship to health and life processes. Also consider emphasizing conceptual understanding (placing less emphasis on simple manipulative, algorithmic problem solving) and urging students to use the rich on-line resources available.
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