After considerable hard work and struggle, Michael Jansen earned a B.Sc. in chemistry from University of Toronto, Scarborough, followed by an M.Sc. in physical organic chemistry from Concordia University. Michael’s work as a laboratory instructor sparked his interest in teaching, hence his BEd from the University of Toronto. His first teaching job was at Taylor’s College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On returning to Canada, Jansen made his way to Crescent School, an independent boys’ school in Toronto, where he is completing his 29th year on the faculty.
Jansen taught Additional Qualifications courses to science teachers at OISE/UT. He co-authored four chemistry textbooks, a lab manual published by the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario, and over 60 articles in journals, including the Journal of Chemical Education. He is on the editorial board of Chem 13 News. Over the past 25 years, Jansen has presented at numerous conferences, sharing his ideas for delivering high quality laboratory activities and teaching methods and continues to share his resources with anyone who will listen, much to the chagrin of subway riders and people waiting at the barbershop.
All of the laboratory work in Grade 11 and AP Chemistry at Crescent School has been produced with his Chemistry Education Research Group, a team of students who meet weekly to develop ideas for novel, effective laboratory experiences. Students involved in this work report being highly engaged in doing chemistry with a purpose.
Jansen credits Tom Tidwell with giving him a summer research job, in spite of a less-than-stellar grade in Introductory organic chemistry. “Professor Tidwell showed me the value of sticking one’s neck out for a student, something that I will never forget.”
Jansen acknowledges the support of Crescent School, which has allowed him to grow as a classroom teacher and as a chemistry teacher-educator. Finally, Jansen would like to thank Diane, his supportive, long-suffering spouse of almost 32 years. Together they have three grown children who are contributing members of society with good jobs and excellent personal hygiene.