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ERIC Number: EJ925082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Mechanics as the Logical Point of Entry for the Enculturation into Scientific Thinking
Carson, Robert; Rowlands, Stuart
Science & Education, v14 n3-5 p473-492 Jul 2005
Force in modern classical mechanics is unique, both in terms of its logical character and the conceptual difficulties it causes. Force is well defined by a set of axioms that not only structures mechanics but science in general. Force is also the dominant theme in the "misconceptions" literature and many philosophers and physicists alike have expressed puzzlement as to its nature. The central point of this article is that if we taught mechanics as the forum to discuss the nature of mechanics itself, then we would serve to better secure a learner's understanding and appreciation of both science and mathematics. We will attempt to show that mechanics can provide the opportunity for students to enter this meta-discourse by engaging in Socratic discussion, entertaining thought experiments, comparisons made between force as defined within mechanics as a modern axiomatic system with Newton's quantitative definition of force, how the concepts of force prior to Galileo and Newton can be used as a teaching aid with respect to student intuitive ideas and how mathematics was brought to bear on what is given empirically. Mechanics provides this opportunity and pedagogically may require it due to its axiomatic nature.
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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