Time for Science Education: How Teaching the History and Philosophy of Pendulum Motion Can Contribute to Science Literacy

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Springer Science & Business Media, 31.10.2000 - 439 Seiten
The book demonstrates the importance of history and philosophyof science for science education. It provides a case study of thependulum, showing the pivotal role played by the pendulum in theScientific Revolution. It describes how the pendulum enabled thecreation of accurate clocks that, among other things, enabled thelong-standing problem of longitude to be solved. The book charts howthe solution of the longitude problem was of enormous social, economicand cultural significance for European and consequently world history.Further, the book shows how the discovery of the laws of pendulummotion by Galileo, Huygens and Newton hinged on the acceptance of anew methodology for science. The pendulum laws are a window throughwhich to view the fascinating mixture of experiment, mathematics andphilosophy that characterized the foundations of modern science- the Galilean-Newtonian paradigm - anddistinguished it from Aristotelian, medieval and commonsense science.The book covers: learning about the nature ofscience; navigation andthe longitude problem; ancient and medieval timekeeping; Galileo'sanalysis of pendulum motion; Huygens, Hooke, Newton and the pendulum; clocks and culture; science and philosophy; the mechanical world view; teaching about time and pendulum motion; and teacher education andculture.The book defends a liberal, or contextual, approach to the teaching ofscience. It shows how understanding the scientific, philosophical andcultural contexts and ramifications of the pendulum laws can allowteachers to plan more engaging lessons, and conduct informativehistorical- investigative experiments. Students can re-live history.Contextual understanding of the pendulum allows connections to bemadewith other parts of the science curriculum, and with other subjectareas such as geography, literature, religion, music and mathematics.Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the nature ofscience and its
 

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Inhalt

Learning about the Pendulum and Improving
1
Navigation and the Longitude Problem
19
Ancient and Medieval Timekeeping
47
Galileo and the Pendulum Clock
77
Galileos Analysis of Pendulum Motion
95
Christiaan Huygens and the Pendulum Clock
121
Perfecting Mechanical Timekeeping
157
The Pendulum in Newtons Physics
181
Epistemology and the Analysis of Pendulum Motion
243
Observation Theory and Experiment
251
Scientific Laws
261
Reductionist Accounts of Time
267
Science Education Teacher Education and Culture
321
Appendix Some Significant Dates
353
Endnotes
357
References
381

The Clock Analogy in Philosophy
215
Newtons Argument with Leibniz about Gods Involvement
221
Poetry and the Design Argument
228
Some Lessons from the History
237

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