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The story behind the discovery: integrating short historical stories in science teaching

Authors
  • Kortam, Naji1
  • Hugerat, Muhamad1
  • Mamlok-Naaman, Rachel2
  • 1 Academic Arab College for Education in Israel, Israel , (Israel)
  • 2 Weizmann Institute of Science, Hertzl St. 213 , (Israel)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Chemistry Teacher International
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Jul 13, 2020
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
1–8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/cti-2019-0016
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The use of the historical approach in teaching science has been studied for many years. Many researchers claimed that this approach has the power to improve students’ understanding of the nature of science (NOS) by emphasizing not only the products of science but also the evolution of its ideas. In this paper we will deal with historical stories which were integrated into the science curriculum of primary, middle, and secondary school students from Arab schools in the Israeli Galilee (270 students). Integrating short historical stories in science teaching is a pedagogical approach in which teachers use the chronological story of scientific discoveries and the evolution of scientific ideas in order to render students’ perceptions of the conceptual aspects of science, its processes and contexts more accurately. The stories in this paper refer to discoveries by four scientists: Galvani (the discovery of the electrical current), Fleming (the discovery of penicillin), Archimedes (the discovery of the floating principle), and Kekulé (the discovery of the structure of the benzene ring). At the completion of enacting this curriculum, the students were asked to write their reflections. By reading the students’ reflections we found out that they noticed that certain circumstances must be present in order to enable a scientist to make his discovery.

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