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Pendulum motion

a case study in how history and philosophy can contribute to science education

Michael R. Matthews

pp. 19-56

The pendulum has had immense scientific, cultural, social and philosophical impact. Historical, methodological and philosophical studies of pendulum motion can assist teachers to improve science education by developing enriched curricular material, and by showing connections between pendulum studies and other parts of the school programme, especially mathematics, social studies, technology and music. The pendulum is a universal topic in high-school science programmes and some elementary science courses; an enriched approach to its study can result in deepened science literacy across the whole educational spectrum. Such literacy will be manifest in a better appreciation of the part played by science in the development of society and culture. Such history, philosophy and science (HPS)-informed teaching and study of pendulum motion can serve as an exemplar of the benefits of HPS-informed teaching across the science curriculum. (This chapter draws on material in Matthews (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), and on contributions to Matthews et al. (2005))

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7654-8_2

Full citation:

Matthews, M. R. (2014)., Pendulum motion: a case study in how history and philosophy can contribute to science education, in M. R. Matthews (ed.), International handbook of research in history, philosophy and science teaching, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 19-56.

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