Sunday, May 18, 2008

On Using Biographies--A Heirarchically Based Science Course for Elementary Students: Part 1a

LB, in a comment on Part 1, asked whether it seemed like biographies would be valuable. I said yes, if they werre present chronologically. I'd like to ammend that answer. I think the experiemtns are very important to recount. I don't know if every biography would include the necessary experiments. The proper context must also be laid, in my opinion. I think most biographies would do a good job doing that. I would also warn against biographies that attempt to show too much of the man, as opposed to the scientist. I'm guessing a lot of modern biographies would do this. Whether or not Newton was easy to get along with might be interesting as an aside, but it is likely to be independent of his scientific greatness. It also might be downright distracting. So I would recommend biographies that concentrate on the science, the scientist's place in it, and some interesting information like where they were born, how the world worked at the time, how they helped advance human knowledge, and any personal information that may have helped or hindered them in having their conclusions accepted.

Part 1

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