Francis Patrón, Ph.D.
Physical Chemistry: Chemical Education on Organic Chemistry
Chemistry education research on the teaching and learning of chemistry, with particular interest in physical chemistry. Presently, research focuses on the following aspects:
1. The relationship between mathematical and chemical concepts in the learning process in physical chemistry
2. Student conceptions of chemical concepts
3. The development of qualitative research methods
4. The use of computer technology in the teaching and learning of chemistry
The development of curriculum and curricular materials in chemistry
For a more detailed, updated description see www.fpatron.com
- 1. Improving Math and Science Performance in the College of Agriculture (USDA)
- 2. Physical Chemistry Laboratory Improvement Initiatives
- 3. Math and Science Partnerships (NSF-MSP)
The MSP seeks to improve student outcomes in high-quality mathematics and science by all students, at all preK-12 levels. As the achievement of students rises, the MSP expects to significantly reduce achievement gaps in mathematics and science education among diverse student populations. To achieve these long-term outcomes, the MSP program will support the development, implementation, and sustainability of exemplary partnerships addressing the following goals:
GOAL 1: To enhance significantly the capacity of schools to provide a challenging curriculum for every student, and to encourage more students to participate in and succeed in advanced mathematics and science courses.
GOAL 2: To increase and sustain the number, quality, and diversity of preK-12 teachers of mathematics and science, especially in underserved areas, through further development of a professional education continuum that considers traditional preservice education as well as alternative routes into the profession, professional development during early phases of a career (i.e., induction), and continued professional growth (inservice) in mathematics and science for preK-12 teachers.
GOAL 3: To contribute to the national capacity to engage in large-scale reform through participation in a network of researchers and practitioners, organized through the MSP program, that will study and evaluate educational reform and experimental approaches to the improvement of teacher preparation and professional development.
GOAL 4: To engage the learning community in the knowledge base being developed in current and future NSF Centers for Learning and Teaching and Science of Learning Centers.
1. Qualitative Investigation of Engineering Service Learning (NSF-EEC)
- Curriculum Innovation: Development of a new BS degree program in Chemical Education designed to prepare chemistry secondary school teachers in Puerto Rico.
- Enhancement of Student Learning: Development and coordination of the Chemistry Resource Room at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). This facility, modeled after similar facilities at Purdue University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a chemistry learning center that provides academic assistance to students taking chemistry courses at UPRM and promotes cooperative learning.
- The Learning Process in Physical Chemistry: A Study of the Development of Physical-Mathematical Reasoning in the Mind of the Learner of Thermodynamics. F. Patron and G. M. Bodner. October, 2003. To be submitted.
- The Role of Qualitative Research Methods in the Search for an Understanding of the Factors that Influence Student Performance in Physical Chemistry, Francis Patron, Paper presented at the symposium Advances in Chemical Education Research, 225th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, LA, March 2003.
- Incertidumbre y Error en Mediciones Científicas and Fuerzas Intermoleculares: La Gota de Petróleo, Francis Patron. In Aprendizaje Activo en la Sala de Clases Universitaria: Actividades para Ciencias, Matemáticas y Educación, published by PR-CETP (funded by the National Science Foundation), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2003.
- Physical Chemistry and Mathematics: Student Misconceptions, Francis Patron, Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Conference, Hacia la Excelencia en la Preparación de Maestros de Ciencias y Matemáticas, Alliance for the Excellence in Teacher Preparation (PR-CETP), Ponce, Puerto Rico, January 25, 2002.
- Physical Chemistry and Mathematics: What Students Have to Say, Francis Patron, Proceedings of the First Chemistry Congress, Diálogo y Reflexión Sobre la Enseñanza de la Química a Nivel Universitario, Alliance for the Excellence in Teacher Preparation (PR-CETP), Ponce, Puerto Rico, November 30, 2001.
- Why do they Find Physical Chemistry so Difficult? Is it the Math? A View from the Perspective of Average Students, Francis Patron, 25th Senior Technical Meeting of the Puerto Rico Local Section of the American Chemical Society, San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 3, 2001.
- Conceptual Understanding of Thermodynamics: A Study of Graduate and Undergraduate Students, Francis Patron and George Bodner, 214th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Las Vegas, September 1997.