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Dr Michael Bassey is in the education department of the Trent Polytechnic
THE VALUE of Dr Michael Bassey's ‘Field Review of ‘O’‐level Chemistry Textbooks’ must depend largely on his qualifications as a reviewer. The first two sections of the review associate him with Fisons Pest Control Ltd. and the third with a university department of extra‐mural studies. Does this mean that he has no direct experience of the teaching of chemistry in schools? If so—and there are considerable indications of this in his three articles — Dr Bassey's opinions must carry little weight. He would attach only minor importance to the views of teachers on pest control; me teaching body may well reciprocate.
I read with interest ‘A Field Review of ‘O’‐level Chemistry Textbooks’ by Dr Michael Bassey. A short time before, I had read the enclosed review of Dr Pollock's book, ‘A Practical School Chemistry’ which appeared in Catholic Teachers Journal. You will notice it refers to many errors of fact and concludes that the book is unsuitable for use in schools at any level. Yet this is one of the best six recommended by Dr Bassey. It would appear that Dr Bassey has probably been so intent on the style and contents of each book that he has not been able to read them in detail, I know it is not unusual for reviewers to differ, out when one thoroughly recommends where another can find nothing good to say, one wonders what reliance to place upon them. I should be interested in Dr Bassey's comments on the matter.
Dr Robert Oxtoby writes: Speaking at a one‐day Conference organized jointly by the Midlands Group of the Society for Research into Higher Education and the South Birmingham Technical College and held at the College in July, Dr Michael Bassey (Nottingham Regional College of Technology) described lecturing as the equivalent of throwing mud at a wall: some never reaches it, some sticks and some sticks but later drops off. Dr Bassey was talking about effective study methods or, in other words, how to ensure that as much mud as possible sticks.
Are you a doer or a thinker? “We were repeatedly told by teachers and students that they had been so engrossed in what they were doing and how it was done that they had given little thought to why they did it.” The great merit of this research is that it has encouraged some of these doers (science teachers and ex‐pupils) to reflect on ‘why’ questions: the report gives the views of practical men and not of ivory tower thinkers.
In the first part of this field review, twenty textbooks used for teaching ‘O’‐level Chemistry were analysed in broad terms. In this article various aspects of these books…
Twenty‐one textbooks of physical chemistry are analysed in this part of the review. One other textbook in this category was received for review, but it had been heavily…
Twenty‐one textbooks of physical chemistry are analysed in this part of the review. One other textbook in this category was received for review, but it had been heavily criticised in several scientific journals; the criticisms were deemed just, and so it seemed better to ignore it. Nine of these textbooks are only about physical chemistry, the others couple it with either inorganic alone, or with both inorganic and organic.