Teaching About Sound: A Select Historical Examination of Research*


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Abstract

The teaching of the science topic sound, a popular topic in science instruction, is selectively analyzed over the past century using evidence excerpted from a prominent teacher practitioner journal (School Science And Mathematics). Shifting innovative recommendations on how teachers of science should teach the sound topic are identified in the categories of content and pedagogy. Historical connections to the scientific development of sound, identification of what constitutes the subject matter of sound, recommended general pedagogical strategies, and best practices for teaching strategies associated with the sound concept are examined. Discussion relates to the influence of contextual factors in a given time period (social and theoretical) on the design of curriculum materials used to guide instructional practice. One implication for science teacher education is the need for science teachers to develop an historically and philosophically grounded perspective by examining both the teaching practices on a science topic over an extended time and the historical scientific development of the science topic.

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