Education

Postdoctoral University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, CA

M.Sc. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

B.Sc. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Group Activities

March 2011:

Barbara L. Gonzalez organized and presided a day long symposium, Research in Chemical Education, for the Division of Chemical Education at the ACS National Meeting

Barbara L. Gonzalez presented a research paper at the symposium entitled "Exploring Interactivity, Dimensionality and Assessment in an Animation Prototype for Visualizing Molecular Geometry and Polarity."

Cristina Robitu, master's graduate student presented a research paper entitled "Model-based teaching and learning in the high school chemistry laboratory" in the Chemistry Education Research: A Symposium Focusing on the Presentation and Discussion of Graduate Student Research session.

May 2011:

Dr. Barbara Gonzalez was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Success for 2010-2011 at the 28th Annual Awards Reception held on May 6, 2011. Dr. Gonzalez has developed innovative and creative approaches to ensuring student success in chemistry and STEM education careers by combining research results from education, psychology and cognitive science and her own chemical education research agenda to help students to become more effective learners. She is a superb mentor for undergraduate and graduate students, who not only need the tools for research in learning but also the theoretical framework for carefully designing studies and interpreting their results.

Research Interests

My research agenda in chemical education investigates the impact of visualization on conceptual understanding in chemistry along three pathways. One pathway investigates the impact of technological tools, a second pathway explores chemical literacy, and the third pathway applies my personal basic research agenda to the evaluation of the educational components of the projects of other scientists. The technological tools pathway incorporates studies in the effect of Web-delivered learning tools, computer-interfaced data collection devices, and Web-delivered tools for collection of chemical education research data. My chemical literacy studies explore how conceptual understanding is linked to formal logical reasoning; novice-expert problem solving patterns; and the developmental progression of fundamental chemical concepts such as density, physical change, chemical change, heat, temperature, energy, and the three-dimensional structure of atoms and molecules. As an evaluator I am often asked to assist scientists who do not have a background in chemical education to develop goals and objectives to evaluate the educational components of basic science research projects. I help them to plan and develop educational activities in conjunction with their grants. Scientific literacy is essential for the United States to maintain its technological advantage in a rapidly changing world. Chemistry education research provides answers to fundamental questions about teaching and learning chemistry that can lead to improved pedagogy, curriculum and instructions that promotes the scientific chemical literacy of our nation.

Recent Publications

Gonzalez, B.L., Dorland, E., Heyden, R. and Radcliff, M. (2009) A Prototype for Visualization of Molecular Geometry and Polarity with Embedded Dynamic Assessment. American Chemical Society Committee on Computer in Chemical Education, http://science.widener.edu/svb/cccenews/fall2009/paper1.html

Monteyne, K. Gonzalez, B. L. and Loverude, M.E. (2008) An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Student Ability to Connect Particulate and Macroscopic Representations of a Gas. Proceedings of the 2008 Physics Education Research Conference. American Association of Physics Teachers Physics Education Research Group: Rochester, NY.

Gonzalez, B.L., Wegner, P. A., Arasasingham, R.D., Martorell, I. (accepted). A Cross-Institutional Analysis of the Effect of Web-Assisted Tools on Visualization and Logical Reasoning in Chemistry. Journal of Science Education and Technology.

Yeend, R. E., Gonzalez, B. L, & Loverude, M.E. (2001). Student understanding of density: A cross-age investigation. Proceedings of the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference. American Association of Physics Teachers Physics Education Research Group: Rochester, NY.

Pelaez, N. J. & Gonzalez, B. L. (2002). Sharing science: Characteristics of effective scientist-teacher interactions. Advances in Physiological Education, 26(3), 158-167. http://advan.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/3/158

Gonzalez, B. L., Kouba, J., Yee, S., Reed*, C. A., Kirner, R. & Scheidt, R. W. (May 28, 1975). Manganese (II) porphyrins. Synthesis, structures, and preference for five-coordination. Journal of American Chemical Society, 97 (11), 3247-3249.