It was mentioned in part 4 that a self-study modular instruction on teaching inorganic nomenclature was piloted and have been proven effective.  However, the use of the module was not implemented.  Why was the modular instruction not implemented? Nobody has actually told me formally the real reason that it left me wondering.  So to hypothesize,  maybe it is more on the politics in the school, or maybe an influential faculty member challenged the modular instruction on the following reasoning:

1.  There is another way to teach nomenclature.

               Indeed why let the students buy the module when there is another way to teach nomenclature without the students spending. Was this, plus being influential, the reason why the modular instruction was not implemented?

             I actually agree of what one professor in my graduate studies (master's) said, “there are many ways to kill a cat” pointing to many ways or strategies to teach a subject matter and thus how  lessons shall be taught need not be forced on a teacher. It is interesting to note that in the Philippines  “how to teach” is an academic freedom given and being claimed by universities.  According to Isagani Cruz (2015) in his  mini-critic on Individual Academic Freedom, it is likely that a teacher will lose a case against a university on  claims for  freedom on “ how lesson shall be taught” (D. Miranda, through E. Bacolod,personal communication, Jan 16, 2015).  How is this in your country?

Isagani Cruz's article on Individual Academic Freedom can be viewed on the link below

2. Learning inorganic nomenclature is easy and need not be given much time to teach.

            This claim is not universal, this is relative. Research has shown that though, teachers  and some brilliant students may say “ learning inorganic nomenclature is easy,”  results of a focus group discussion on randomly selected students (incentive of 50 Php was given to those selected and joined the focus group discussion) identified inorganic nomenclature as one of the difficult topics they encountered in learning general chemistry.  This was later supported by the results of the departmental examination (final summative test prepared by the department of chemistry for general chemistry) that includes items on inorganic nomenclature.  Item analysis of the test papers showed inorganic nomenclature as one of the difficult topics in general chemistry (Tabinas, 2012).

            In connection to this, it is interesting to note the observations of Gerhard Lind (1992), “Naming inorganic compounds seems to be… unimportant… This impression is unavoidable when the leading textbooks for general chemistry in the United States are reviewed.”  Lind continues “from discussion with many colleagues, I also feel that many instructors who teach general chemistry do not know the subject of naming inorganic compounds well enough to teach it adequately and therefore either do a ..poor job or avoid the subject altogether.”

            In line to this, read Teaching Inorganic Nomenclature (Part 1) at (part 1-30733

Research Findings:

On the traditional method

            Traditional method here means the usual method used by the teachers in teaching inorganic nomenclature to the non-chemistry major students.

            Out of 450 students enrolled in general chemistry, 421 test papers were submitted for analysis. The results showed, aside from identifying inorganic nomenclature as one of the difficult topics, the overall achievement of the students on the departmental examination was found to be poor (47.3%).  The students scores range from poor to good, that is, from 39.03-73.38 percent and an average of 47.3 percent.  Passing percentage set by the department of chemistry is 50 percent.(Tabinas, 2012)

            For further study: Could it be the illiteracy of the students on inorganic nomenclature that caused the poor achievement of the students? Basis:  Chemical formulas are an important link to topics on chemical bondings, VESEPR, simple chemical reactions and equation, stoichiometry, concentrations of solutions, understanding redox reactions, chemical equilibrium, etc..

On the modular instruction

            When piloted it was proven effective. Read, Teaching Inorganic Nomenclature (Part 4): A Single Classroom Study. at

So, when in spite of your teaching inorganic nomenclature, the students are still illiterate, consider modular instruction as an alternative method. As an option, I suggest you try the derived book, Naming and Writing Simple inorganic Chemical Formulas.  I strongly recommend this for students of general chemistry. Because the fundamentals of naming and writing simple inorganic chemical formulas is a language that is basic to all natural sciences, this should be taught as part of basic education. 

About “Naming and Writing Simple Inorganic Chemical Formulas”

This is a derived book based on IUPAC recommendations. This is a module, a textbook, and a workbook on inorganic nomenclature rolled into one.  The book is a self-study module so that the roles of a teacher here are more on motivating the students to finish the module and  assessing  the students’ achievements.  Because the module is designed for students to study on their own, the teacher need not sacrifice the time allotted for other topics of general chemistry.  Also the rules, on naming and writing simple inorganic compounds were made easy by a conversational style of writing, support sample tasks and practice tasks, and featured topics on chemical connections that range from medicine to pollution.  The book is designed for beginners in inorganic nomenclature.

For more details about the book email


Lind, G. (1992).  “Teaching Inorganic Nomenclature A Systematic Approach”. Journal of Chemical Education 69(8) 613-614.  Retrieved January 16, 2015 from

Isagani Cruz (updated 2015 January 15). Mini-Critic on Individual Academic Freedom. Philippine Star.  Retrieved from Dionesio Miranda, USC President through Bacolod, E.( personal communication) January 16, 2015.

_________________________________"Mini Critic on Individual Academic Freedom" retrieved on March 11, 2015 from

Tabinas, C (2006). Naming and Writing Simple Inorganic Chemical Formulas: Manila Philippines: C&E Publishing, Inc.

_________(2012). Students’ Learning Styles and Achievement in Chem 4 Departmental Examination for Enhanced Instructional Design. Unpublished Doctor of Philosopy in Education. Dissertation. uSc Philippines.