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History of Science Concepts

Initial perceptual naive misconceptions (any age)

Misconceptions (Explanations, Naive understanding, Misconceptions, or Perceptual responses)

Beginning (preschool - 7 years)


  1. Science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time.

Intermediate (7 years - 11 years)


  1. Scientists have been experimenting for years.
  2. Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.
  3. Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood.
  4. Science will never be finished. Many people choose science as a career and devote their entire lives to studying it.
  5. Many people derive great pleasure from doing science.
  6. Women and men of various social and ethnic backgrounds-and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations-engage in the activities of science, engineering, and related fields such as the health professions.
  7. Some scientists work in teams, and some work alone, but all communicate extensively with others.
  8. Science requires different abilities, depending on such factors as the field of study and type of inquiry.

Literate (11+)


  1. Some scientific knowledge is very old and is still applicable today.
  2. Tracing the history of science can show how difficult it was for scientific innovators to break through the accepted ideas of their time to reach to conclusions that we currently take for granted.
  3. Many individuals have contributed to the traditions of science.
  4. Studying some of these individuals provides further understanding of scientific inquiry, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, and the relationships between science and society.
  5. Science is very much a human endeavor, and the work of science relies on basic human qualities, such as reasoning, insight, energy, skill, and creativity-as well as scientific habits of the mind, such as intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism, and openness to new ideas.
  6. In historical perspective, science has been practiced by different individuals in different cultures.
  7. In looking at the history of many peoples, one finds that scientists and engineers of high achievement are considered to be among the most valued contributors to their culture. Lovoisier successfully tested the concept of conservation of matter.
  8. Marie Curie and Pierre Curie isolated two new elements.
  9. One radium was named because of the powerful rays it gave off.
  10. Marie was the first person ever to win two Nobel prizes in two different fields.
  11. Louis Pasteur introduced germ theory. He demonstrated what caused milk and wine to spoil


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes