Putting People Back Into Science: Using Historical Vignettes


Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71497.

Curriculum & Instruction, Room 223-F Peabody Hall, Louisana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.


Current science education research reports that students do not embrace an understanding of the nature of science. Furthermore, few curriculum materials emphasize the nature of science. This paper suggests an effective technique for including the nature of science in existing courses. Using Wandersee's story form model, historical vignettes describe brief episodes from the lives of scientists. They are designed to take only about ten minutes of class time, provide content information, and promote examination of the nature of the scientific enterprise by generating discussion. They help students connect the present and past, show the evolution of the ideas they are learning, and make the information more interesting.