Learning generic skills in first year chemistry


  • Ian M. Jamie
  • Adrian V. George
  • Noel J. Dickson
  • Michelle Engelsman
  • Danielle Kay


Students entering first year University chemistry are, in general, focused on learning the chemistry content of the course, rather than the generic skills that they acquire along the way. In fact, students are generally unaware that generic skill development is occurring. In contrast, employers are often more interested in the generic skills of the graduates than their specific discipline knowledge. The University of Sydney lists the generic attributes of its graduates include: knowledge skills; thinking skills; personal skills; personal attributes; and practical skills. The degree to which these skills are developed depend on the context (subject and level of study) but we believe that they all may be developed in the first year chemistry curriculum.