Vicente Talanquer

University Distinguished Professor

Degrees and Appointments

  • B.S. 1985, Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • M.A. 1987, Chemistry,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Ph.D. 1992, Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Visiting Scholar, 1992-1995. James Frank Institute, University of Chicago
  • Professor, 1992-2000, Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Fields of Study: Chemical Education, Education

Research Specialities: Chemistry & Biochemistry Education, Chemistry Education Research, Student Reasoning, Assessment

Awards and Honors:

  • Early-Career Teaching Award. College of Science, University of Arizona., 2004
  • Five Star Teaching Award, University of Arizona, 2006
  • Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award. University of Arizona., 2007
  • Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize in Teaching. University of Arizona, 2012
  • James Flack Norris Award for the Outstanding Teaching of Chemistry. Northeastern Section of the ACS, 2012
  • Distinguished Achievement in Science Education Award. College of Science, University of Arizona, 2013
  • University Distinguished Professor. University of Arizona, 2015
  • Arizona Professor of the Year. Carnegie Foundation, 2015
  • Educational Research Award. Council of Scientific Society Presidents, 2019
  • ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching & Learning of Chemistry., 2021


The focal point of our work is the study, reflection, and improvement of chemistry education. In particular, we have directed our research at trying to characterize the conceptual frameworks and the patterns of reasoning used by chemistry students to answer questions and solve problems that require qualitative reasoning (e.g., classification, prediction, inference, comparison). We are also exploring how students' ideas and reasoning strategies evolve as they develop more expertise in the discipline (trajectories of expertise). These studies are of central importance to design learning progressions that foster meaningful learning.

Research areas of interest includeCommon sense reasoning in chemistry; Learning progressions and trajectories of expertise in chemistry; Development of teacher assessment reasoning; Education and teacher preparation.

Additionally, we work in the development of chemistry curricula and educational materials. Visit the following pages to check out some of our work:

Chemical Thinking Curriculum
Interactive Chemistry Resources

  • J. W. Reid, Z. D. Kirbulut-Gunes, S. Fateh, A. Fatima, M. Macrie-Shuck, H. T. Nennig, F. Quintanilla, N. E. States, A. Syed, R. Cole, G. T. Rushton, L. Shah, and V. Talanquer. Investigating patterns of student engagement during collaborative activities in undergraduate chemistry courses. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 23, 173-188 (2022).
  • J. Tashiro and V. Talanquer. Exploring inequities in a traditional and a reformed general chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education 98, 12, 3680-3692 (2021).
  • S. Petritis, C. Kelley, and V. Talanquer. Exploring the impact of the framing of a laboratory experiment on the nature of student argumentation. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 22, 105-121 (2021).
  • M. Herridge and V. Talanquer. Variation in chemistry instructors’ evaluations of student written responses and its impact on grading. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 22, 948-972 (2021).
  • V. Talanquer, R. Bucat, R. Tasker, and P. Mahaffy. Lessons from a pandemic:  Educating for complexity, change, uncertainty, vulnerability and resilience. Journal of Chemical Education, 97, 9, 2696–2700 (2020).
  • V. Talanquer. Some insights into assessing chemical systems thinking. Journal of Chemical Education, 96, 2918-2925 (2019).
  • P. Moreira, A. Marzabal, and V. Talanquer. Using a mechanistic framework to characterise chemistry students' reasoning in written explanations. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. 20, 120-131 (2019).
  • V. Talanquer. Progressions in reasoning about structure‐property relationships. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. 19, 998-1009 (2018).
  • J. Sjöström and V. Talanquer. Eco-reflexive chemical thinking and action. Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, 13, 16-20 (2018).
  • V. Talanquer and J. Pollard. Reforming a large foundational course: Successes and challenges. Journal of Chemical Education. 94, 1844-1851 (2017).
  • V. Talanquer, M. Bolger, and D. Tomanek. Exploring Prospective Teachers’ Assessment Practices: Noticing and Interpreting Student Understanding in the Assessment of Written Work. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52(5), 585-609 (2015).
  • H. Sevian and  V. Talanquer. Rethinking chemistry: A learning progression on chemical thinking. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 15(1), 10-23 (2014).
  • V. Talanquer. Macro, Submicro, and Symbolic? The Many Faces of the Chemistry Triplet. International Journal of Science Education. 33(2), 179-195 (2011).
  • J. Maeyer and V. Talanquer. The role of heuristics in students thinking: Ranking of chemical substances. Science Education, 94(6), 963-984 (2010).
  • V. Talanquer. On cognitive constraints and learning progressions: The case of structure of matter. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15) 2123-2136 (2009).
  • V. Talanquer. Common sense chemistry: A model for understanding students' alternative conceptions. Journal of Chemical Education, 83(5), 811-816 (2006).