University of Calgary

Julie Lefebvre

  • Instructor

Currently Teaching

Research Interests

Dr. Lefebvre’s main education research interests are centered around two key questions:

  • How can we engage and motivate first-year science students to learn chemistry?
  • How do students develop critical thinking, and what are the best teaching practices to help them in the process?

To address both of these questions, I focus on the use of in-class group activities designed around live chemical demonstrations. Demonstrations (as part of “magic shows”) have long been used to spark interest in the field but they can also be a valuable teaching aid, whether to introduce, apply or review theoretical concepts and probe misconceptions.

Critical thinking is a mean by which one can come about conclusions based on a reasoned process. In our first-year chemistry context, this includes the collection and interpretation of data and observations, and then using them to propose and evaluate a hypothesis. The in-class and lab activities I design and implement are meant to encourage students to practice this soft skill while applying concepts taught in the course.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Lefebvre teaching responsibilities focus on undergraduate introductory chemistry courses offered to both major and non-major students. These include CHEM 201, 203, 211 and 213.

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