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ERIC Number: EJ1041333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Teaching Chemistry for All Its Worth: The Interaction between Facts, Ideas, and Language in Lavoisier's and Priestley's Chemistry Practice: The Case of the Study of the Composition of Air
de Berg, Kevin
Science & Education, v23 n10 p2045-2068 Oct 2014
Both Lavoisier and Priestley were committed to the role of experiment and observation in their chemistry practice. According to Lavoisier the physical sciences embody three important ingredients; facts, ideas, and language, and Priestley would not have disagreed with this. Ideas had to be consistent with the facts generated from experiment and observation and language needed to be precise and reflect the known chemistry of substances. While Priestley was comfortable with a moderate amount of hypothesis making, Lavoisier had no time for what he termed theoretical speculation about the fundamental nature of matter and avoided the use of the atomic hypothesis and Aristotle's elements in his "Elements of Chemistry." In the preface to this famous work he claims he has good educational reasons for this position. While Priestley and Lavoisier used similar kinds of apparatus in their chemistry practice, they came to their task with completely different worldviews as regards the nature of chemical reactivity. This paper examines these worldviews as practiced in the famous experiment on the composition of air and the implications of this for chemistry education are considered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A