Sunday, 5 July 2009

History of Science Teaching in England

"The introduction of science teaching into the Universities and into the schools, both secondary and primary, in England is of comparatively recent date, and was not achieved without considerable opposition from those who regarded science as a purely utilitarian subject without cultural value."
The above paragraph is from a review of the book, History of Science Teaching in England by Dorothy M. Turner (printed in 1927) in the Philosophical Magazine in June of 1928. The rest of the review should provide all the reason any modern teacher of math/science needs to use the book to become more aware of the history of science education. Many of the comments, both pro and con for science teaching could be read in modern education journals and newspapers. A limited preview is available for free at Google Books. This is actually a 1981 reprint of the original, which is still available from Amazon

"It is interesting to note that the demand for science teaching resulted, in the first half of the nineteenth century, in the establishment of the Mechanics Institutes and night schools in which science teaching of a kind was given long before it was adopted as a general subject in the school or University curriculum and before any discussion had been given to the question why science should be taught. The author discusses in an interesting manner different views which have been held as to the reasons for teaching science."

"All students of pedagogy or of the history of science will find much to interest them in this volume."
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