NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ807430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0003-3790
Marking Out a Disciplinary Common Ground: The Role of Chemical Pedagogy in Establishing the Doctrine of Affinity at the Heart of British Chemistry
Taylor, Georgette
Annals of Science, v65 n4 p465-486 Oct 2008
This paper presents a case study that contributes to the current debate among historians of chemistry concerning the role and influence of pedagogy in science. Recently, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and her colleagues concluded that in nineteenth-century France, "textbooks played an important role in discipline building and in creating theories". Developing this idea further, this paper examines the dissemination of knowledge through face-to-face chemical lectures, showing that the influence of pedagogical strategy on theoretical content of the science is far from negligible. The pedagogy of William Cullen was essentially responsible for the prevalence of the doctrine of affinity in British chemistry from the 1760s onwards. Cullen used his affinity theory as a pedagogical tool that to a large extent defined his discipline, and the pedagogical pyramid that he headed similarly ensured that the doctrine would remain at the heart of British chemistry. From a pedagogical tool, the doctrine of affinity was transformed over time into a chemical tool, offering British chemists a disciplinary common ground that both set and reinforced the boundaries to their discipline. (Contains 99 footnotes.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France; United Kingdom (Great Britain)