Abraham Trembley (1710–1784) and the Creature That Defies Classification: Nature of Science and Inquiry Through a Historical Narrative

  • Filipe Faria BerçotEmail author
  • Eduardo Cortez
  • Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes
Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)


The chapter presents a historical narrative of a case study of the history of biology. The narrative tells the story of the studies on freshwater “polyps” (Hydra) conducted by the Genevan naturalist Abraham Trembley, in the first half of the eighteenth century. The historical narrative is part of the instructional resources of a teaching learning sequence (TLS) using an inquiry approach produced for biology teacher training courses and secondary school students. The objectives of the TLS are to facilitate the learning of conceptual, procedural and attitudinal contents related to the current knowledge on the reproductive biology and to foster the development of informed conceptions about the nature of science using an explicit and reflective approach. The authors used design-based research and the achievement of design principles to develop the narrative and the TLS. Considering the state of the art in the area, the narrative proposed here is an educational innovation that can be extended to similar contexts, promoting more engagement and motivation to learn science through an authentic and historical context and inquiry learning.



The first author thanks The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, in the acronym in Portuguese), for research support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filipe Faria Berçot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eduardo Cortez
    • 2
  • Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes
    • 3
  1. 1.Biological Sciences Graduate Program (Genetics) of the Institute of Biosciences of University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Science Teaching Inter-Unit Graduate Program of the University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of BiosciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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