Teaching the Conceptual History of Physics to Physics Teachers

Science & Education 24 (4):387-408 (2015)
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For nearly a decade we have taught the history and philosophy of science as part of courses aimed at the professional development of physics teachers. The focus of the history of science instruction is on the stages in the development of the concepts and theories of physics. For this instruction, we designed activities to help the teachers organize their understanding of this historical development. The activities include scientific modeling using archaic theories. We conducted surveys to gauge the impact on the teachers of including the conceptual history of physics in the professional development courses. The teachers report greater confidence in their knowledge of the history of physics, that they reflect on this history for their teaching, and that they use of the history of physics for their classroom instruction. In this paper, we provide examples of our activities, the rationale for their design, and discuss the outcomes for the teachers of the instruction.



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Yann Benétreau-Dupin
San Francisco State University

Citations of this work

Reflections on 25 Years of Journal Editorship.Michael R. Matthews - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (5-6):749-805.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Models in Science (2nd edition).Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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