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Using historical models for science education: a case study on the rainbow

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Abstract
In this paper we argue for the integration of history of science in science education. Important scientific discoveries from the early seventeenth century depended on the careful choice of suitable models for the analysis of natural phenomena. We will look at the historical strategies in which models were chosen from the mixed sciences, engineering and technology that were adequate for an analysis of the specific phenomena under investigation. We will discuss Descartes’ analysis of the rainbow in the eight discourse of his Meteorology from 1637 as an example of carefully selected models for physico-mathematical reasoning. The very same models that were used for the discovery of the new laws of nature can be employed for the teaching of the physical laws involved. This approach allows students to ‘rediscover’ the principles behind the rainbow of double refraction and single reflection and the nature of color separation.
Keywords
Science education, models, rainbow

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Chicago
Heeffer, Albrecht. 2012. “Using Historical Models for Science Education: a Case Study on the Rainbow.” In 4th KKU International Engineering Conference 2012, Proceedings, ed. Somnuk Theerakulpisut, 893–897. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Khon Kaen University.
APA
Heeffer, A. (2012). Using historical models for science education: a case study on the rainbow. In S. Theerakulpisut (Ed.), 4th KKU international engineering conference 2012, Proceedings (pp. 893–897). Presented at the 4th KKU International Engineering Conference 2012 (KKU-IENC - 2012) : driving together towards ASEAN Economic Community, Khon Kaen, Thailand: Khon Kaen University.
Vancouver
1.
Heeffer A. Using historical models for science education: a case study on the rainbow. In: Theerakulpisut S, editor. 4th KKU international engineering conference 2012, Proceedings. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Khon Kaen University; 2012. p. 893–7.
MLA
Heeffer, Albrecht. “Using Historical Models for Science Education: a Case Study on the Rainbow.” 4th KKU International Engineering Conference 2012, Proceedings. Ed. Somnuk Theerakulpisut. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Khon Kaen University, 2012. 893–897. Print.
@inproceedings{2106990,
  abstract     = {In this paper we argue for the integration of history of science in science education. Important scientific discoveries from the early seventeenth century depended on the careful choice of suitable models for the analysis of natural phenomena. We will look at the historical strategies in which models were chosen from the mixed sciences, engineering and technology that were adequate for an analysis of the specific phenomena under investigation. We will discuss Descartes{\textquoteright} analysis of the rainbow in the eight discourse of his Meteorology from 1637 as an example of carefully selected models for physico-mathematical reasoning. The very same models that were used for the discovery of the new laws of nature can be employed for the teaching of the physical laws involved. This approach allows students to {\textquoteleft}rediscover{\textquoteright} the principles behind the rainbow of double refraction and single reflection and the nature of color separation.},
  author       = {Heeffer, Albrecht},
  booktitle    = {4th KKU international engineering conference 2012, Proceedings},
  editor       = {Theerakulpisut, Somnuk},
  keyword      = {Science education,models,rainbow},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Khon Kaen, Thailand},
  pages        = {893--897},
  publisher    = {Khon Kaen University},
  title        = {Using historical models for science education: a case study on the rainbow},
  year         = {2012},
}