P1000: Henry Armstrong, the heuristic method of teaching chemistry, and pioneering British girls’ schools

Author: Geoff Rayner-Canham, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, Canada

Co-Author: Marelene Rayner-Canham, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, Canada

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: MAK B1114

Related Symposium: S71

It was well over one hundred years ago that the chemist, Henry Armstrong (1848-1937), devised what he called the Heuristic Method of teaching chemistry. This method involved learning by discovery and deduction rather than the traditional rote-learning procedure. By the end of the 19th century, the heuristic method of teaching chemistry was highly popular in Britain, particularly at independent girls’ schools. It has been long forgotten that these schools prided themselves on the excellence of their chemistry teaching and their willingness to adopt new and innovative methods of teaching. We will introduce Armstrong, his heuristic methodology, and provide a sense of the enthusiasm which it generated among students at these pioneering girls’ schools.