Quest For Teaching Experimental Skills

B. Samrajya LAKSHMI
B. Venkateswara RAO

In Andhra Pradesh, India, chemical experimenting in under graduate college labs by students is neglected because most of the intermediate (10+1 and 10+2) students concentrate on writing competitive exams like EAMCET (Engineering and Medical Common Entrance Test), IIT JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Test), AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination), AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Services), AIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science). The students spend most of their time in preparing for competitive exams, practicing bits, and writing many model exams. Even Parents, staff, and management are also motivated and allow the students towards preparation for competitive exams because of the increase in number of engineering seats and demand of medical seats. Ultimately, the quality and quantity of students who join the B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) has been decreasing day by day. Even after joining the B.Sc., the students are motivated towards immediate white collared job oriented courses like M.C.A (Master of Computer Applications) and M.B.A (Master Business Administration) and spending their time for preparing for competitive exams for those courses. Only a few students are interested to join Post graduation in chemistry and try to learn experimental skills in chemistry laboratory. However, the motivated students towards undergraduate chemistry will be demotivated towards it due to lack of fundamentals in chemistry (in 10+2 level), which are essential for better job market. Ultimately, the students are in confusion and neglect learning the skills in doing experiments in chemistry lab. The present paper focuses on the thorough quest of one such teacher who strives for his own professional development. He has developed his own method of guiding the students for their improvement of skills in doing experiments in lab. The teacher explored solutions to his problems or problems of students by sorting out the critical incidents from his own laboratory experiences, documented through regular journal writing. The teacher cum researcher guided the students to overcome the difficulties in Ø Determination of melting point Ø Determination of Boiling Point Ø Test for Extra elements Ø Ignition Test for Aliphatic/Aromatic/Carbohydrate/Amide and Ø Test for Functional groups

KEYWORDS: Quest, Professional development, Organic Practical class, Laboratory Experiences, Experimental Skills.