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The Emergence of the Laboratory Method and the Displacement of Natural Philosophy by Physics in American High School Textbooks (1860-1900).

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Title:The Emergence of the Laboratory Method and the Displacement of Natural Philosophy by Physics in American High School Textbooks (1860-1900).
Authors:Speidel, Markus G.
Contributors:Education (department)
Keywords:History
Science
Education
America
NGSS
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Teachers
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Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Advocating for the laboratory method was a distinguishing feature of textbooks as
physics displaced natural philosophy in American schools during the second half of the
nineteenth century as the dominant tradition of teaching physical science. This dissertation
examines digital editions of textbooks in common use during the period to tell the narrative of
this emergence and transformation. I contend that the transformation from the tradition of
natural philosophy to that of physics succeeded less because of the agency of individual actors,
but because schools were responding to the perceived needs and changing realities of their
societies. Understanding the how this transformation occurred, however, requires examining the
contributions made by individual actors. Teachers frequently look to textbooks for guidance,
even if they do not follow them entirely. This dissertation examines the changing series of
textbooks published during the period from the middle of the 19th century to its end, and
compares the instructions given to teachers in the introductory sections to trace the evolution of
physical science instruction over time. The significance of this dissertation lies in its contribution
to our evolving understanding of science education and what leads to educational change.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62360
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education


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