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ERIC Number: EJ1175223
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
On the Use of History of Mathematics: An Introduction to Galileo's Study of Free Fall Motion
Ponce Campuzano, Juan Carlos; Matthews, Kelly E.; Adams, Peter
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v49 n4 p517-529 2018
In this paper, we report on an experimental activity for discussing the concepts of speed, instantaneous speed and acceleration, generally introduced in first year university courses of calculus or physics. Rather than developing the ideas of calculus and using them to explain these basic concepts for the study of motion, we led 82 first year university students through Galileo's experiments designed to investigate the motion of falling bodies, and his geometrical explanation of his results, via simple dynamic geometric applets designed with GeoGebra. Our goal was to enhance the students' development of mathematical thinking. Through a scholarship of teaching and learning study design, we captured data from students before, during and after the activity. Findings suggest that the historical development presented to the students helped to show the growth and evolution of the ideas and made visible authentic ways of thinking mathematically. Importantly, the activity prompted students to question and rethink what they knew about speed and acceleration, and also to appreciate the novel concepts of instantaneous speed and acceleration at which Galileo arrived.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A