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A historical perspective in teaching science and mathematics

History can teach people a lot. Thus, it is necessary to teach history, and a teacher comes to the natural question how to use history in teaching. It is fairly clear how to do this when history itself is the subject of teaching or for such d isciplines as political sciences, economics, art, humanities, and law. But what about science and mathematics? The general approach to these disciplines is that they give objective knowledge that is independent from the people who have obtained this knowledge as well as from the ways of its acquisition. Only the result,scientific knowledge itself, is important. As a consequence, this may give birth tothe opinion that history is unnecessary, and perhaps even harmful, whenmathematics or science is taught. In this article, it is demonstrated that this is notthe case. When history is used properly, it is very useful in any course ofmathematics or a scientific discipline (such as physics, chemistry, and biology).At the same time, improper utilization of history might be misleading an\dsometimes deleterious for the students. A technique for using history in teachingmathematics and science also is presented.

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