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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

History of Science in Teaching Science: Introduction

Why Use History of Science in Teaching Science?


This guide identifies areas of library support and library resources for persons interested in history of science.

Why learn history of science or introduce it into teaching?

Learning the recent history of a specific niche in science enables one to:

  • avoid replicating the research of others;
  • discern emerging trends on which to focus;
  • provide solid literature reviews in writing, teaching, or presentations.

But why learn the older and deeper historical background of scientific research? Potential values include learning:

  • one learns just how much very wide-ranging empirical work, often desultory, has to be done before theoretical advances can occur;
  • the importance of interactions with other disciplinesy (e.g., look at the fascinating history of how long the philosophical atomistic hypothesis; from Greek times took to take hold in the early 20th century!);
  • the social impacts of science;
  • the impact of science within the larger cultural and historical context of human ideas;
  • how often hypotheses and theories have been enriched or superseded by later findings.