Chemistry Education and Contributions from History and Philosophy of Science

  • Mansoor Niaz

Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)

About this book


This book explores the relationship between the content of chemistry education and the history and philosophy of science (HPS) framework that underlies such education. It discusses the need to present an image that reflects how chemistry developed and progresses. It proposes that chemistry should be taught the way it is practiced by chemists: as a human enterprise, at the interface of scientific practice and HPS. Finally, it sets out to convince teachers to go beyond the traditional classroom practice and explore new teaching strategies.

The importance of HPS has been recognized for the science curriculum since the middle of the 20th century. The need for teaching chemistry within a historical context is not difficult to understand as HPS is not far below the surface in any science classroom. A review of the literature shows that the traditional chemistry classroom, curricula, and textbooks while dealing with concepts such as law, theory, model, explanation, hypothesis, observation, evidence and idealization, generally ignore elements of the history and philosophy of science. This book proposes that the conceptual understanding of chemistry requires knowledge and understanding of the history and philosophy of science.

“Professor Niaz’s book is most welcome, coming at a time when there is an urgently felt need to upgrade the teaching of science. The book is a huge aid for adding to the usual way - presenting science as a series of mere facts -also the necessary mandate: to show how science is done, and how science, through its history and philosophy, is part of the cultural development of humanity.”

Gerald Holton, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics & Professor of History of Science, Harvard University

“In this stimulating and sophisticated blend of history of chemistry, philosophy of science, and science pedagogy, Professor Mansoor Niaz has succeeded in offering a promising new approach to the teaching of fundamental ideas in chemistry. Historians and philosophers of chemistry - and above all, chemistry teachers - will find this book full of valuable and highly usable new ideas”
Alan Rocke, Case Western Reserve University

“This book artfully connects chemistry and chemistry education to the human context in which chemical science is practiced and the historical and philosophical background that illuminates that practice. Mansoor Niaz deftly weaves together historical episodes in the quest for scientific knowledge with the psychology of learning and philosophical reflections on the nature of scientific knowledge and method. The result is a compelling case for historically and philosophically informed science education. Highly recommended!”
Harvey Siegel, University of Miami


Conceptual change Learning chemistry Nature of Science Oil drop experiment Progress of chemistry Stoichiometry Teaching atomic models Teaching chemical bonding Teaching chemistry Teaching kinetic theory of gases Teaching periodic table Teaching photoelectric effect Teaching wave-particle duality Understanding chemistry Models, theories and laws

Authors and affiliations

  • Mansoor Niaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Epistemology of Science Group Department of ChemistryUniversidad de OrienteCumaná, Estado SucreVenezuela

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-26246-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-26248-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site