Rene Buell

Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry

rbuell@wesleyan.edu

BS Truman State University
MS Indiana State University
PHD University Of New Hampshire

Rene Buell

Understanding how general chemistry students learn and the individual characteristics that affect learning are of great importance to educators who want to help their students succeed. At the University of New Hampshire, René investigated the role of reading comprehension ability and prior knowledge on learning from reading for general chemistry topics, as well as epistemological beliefs held by general chemistry students. She found that a student's reading comprehension ability has an effect on post-test concept scores. Another finding was that an expertise reversal effect may occur. That is, students with low prior knowledge can improve post-test scores by reading a highly cohesive text, whereas students with higher prior knowledge are not helped by cohesive texts. This finding suggests that reading passages will differently aid students while studying chemistry concepts depending on the characteristics of the text.

I grew up in Southern California and Kansas City, Missouri. After giving up the dream of becoming an actress, I settled on studying chemistry in college (no doubt because of colorful chemical reactions). I had the wonderful opportunity to be a teaching assistant for Prof. H. David Wohlers, who is a blind chemist at Truman State University in MO. After the first taste of teaching chemistry, I was hooked. I received my master's degree in chemistry working on redox non-innocent ligands for small molecule activation catalysis at Indiana University, and then moved to the University of New Hampshire for my PhD in chemistry education. In my free time I like to crochet, bake, annoy my cats MALDI and Dalton, and explore local breweries.

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