A new PhD graduand in chemistry education

Congratulations to Xinchi Zhang for passing her PhD viva this week. Xinchi’s work explored the student voice in laboratory learning; looking at their experiences in relation to learning as well as their concepts of lab goals. Her work furthered current literature by placing these findings within a theoretical framework, and she brought in Maslow’s hierarchy in an innovative way to do this. Xinchi is a thoughtful and innovative scholar. I still remember meeting her before she undertook her research when she made a strong case for incorporating student needs into the conversation regarding lab design, and her scholarship has heavily influenced my own thoughts. Alongside Xinchi’s former comrade Dr Hendra Agustian – now an Assistant Professor at Copenhagen’s Science Education department – this work programme has combined to give us a lot of insight into student experiences in advanced chemistry laboratories and how we theorize those experiences.

Thanks very much to Prof Gwen Lawrie and Dr Caroline Kirk for examination; their detailed and thoughtful inputs and discussions will much improve the work and how we present the findings. I’m now looking forward to seeing Xinchi’s work published. As I had already finished in Edinburgh, thanks to Dr Michael Cowley for seeing Xinchi through in terms of managing the paperwork, and School of Chemistry’s Graduate School for keeping me in the loop.