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Does Science Education Need the History of Science?

Graeme Gooday, John M. Lynch, Kenneth G. Wilson and Constance K. Barsky
Isis
Vol. 99, No. 2 (June 2008), pp. 322-330
DOI: 10.1086/588690
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/588690
Page Count: 9
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Does Science Education Need the History of Science?
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Abstract

ABSTRACT This essay argues that science education can gain from close engagement with the history of science both in the training of prospective vocational scientists and in educating the broader public about the nature of science. First it shows how historicizing science in the classroom can improve the pedagogical experience of science students and might even help them turn into more effective professional practitioners of science. Then it examines how historians of science can support the scientific education of the general public at a time when debates over “intelligent design” are raising major questions over the kind of science that ought to be available to children in their school curricula. It concludes by considering further work that might be undertaken to show how history of science could be of more general educational interest and utility, well beyond the closed academic domains in which historians of science typically operate.

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