Pedagogy and the Practice of Science:  Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

edited by David Kaiser (MIT Press, 2005)

Table of Contents
        Advanced Praise        From the Reviews

PPScover Pedagogy and the Practice of Science provides the first sustained examination of how scientists' and engineers' training shapes their research and careers. The wide-ranging essays move pedagogy to the center of science studies, asking where questions of scientists' training should fit into our studies of the history, sociology, and anthropology of science. Chapter authors examine the deep interrelations among training, learning, and research and consider how the form of scientific training affects the content of science. They investigate types of training -- in cultural and political settings as varied as Victorian Britain, interwar Japan, Stalinist Russia, and Cold War America -- and the resulting scientific practices. The fields they examine span the modern physical sciences, ranging from theoretical physics to electrical engineering and from nuclear weapons science to quantum chemistry.

The studies look both at how skills and practices can be transferred to scientists-in-training and at the way values and behaviors are passed on from one generation of scientists to the next. They address such topics as the interplay of techniques and changing research strategies, pedagogical controversies over what constitutes "appropriate" or "effective," the textbook as a genre for expressing scientific creativity, and the moral and social choices that are embodied in the training of new scientists. The essays thus highlight the simultaneous crafting of scientific practices and of the practitioners who put them to work.

Table of Contents for Pedagogy and the Practice of Science

Introduction:  Moving Pedagogy from the Periphery to the Center
David Kaiser

     Part I.  Teaching Practices, Transferring Skills

1.  Beilstein Unbound:  The Pedagogical Unraveling of a Man and his Handbuch
Michael Gordin

2.  Making Tools Travel:  Pedagogy and the Transfer of Skills in Postwar Theoretical Physics
David Kaiser

3.  A Pedagogy of Diminishing Returns:  Scientific Involution across Three Generations of Nuclear Weapons Science
Hugh Gusterson

     Part II.  Pedagogical Cultures in Collision

4.  Fear, Shunning, and Valuelessness:  Controversy over the Use of "Cambridge" Mathematics in Late Victorian Electro-Technology
Graeme Gooday

5.  The Geist in the Institute:  The Production of Quantum Physicists in 1930s Japan
Kenji Ito

6.  Instruments in Training:  The Growth of American Probe Microscopy in the 1980s
Cyrus Mody

     Part III.  The Action of Textbooks

7.  The Power of Didactic Writings:  French Chemistry Textbooks of the Nineteenth Century
Antonio García-Belmar, José Bertomeu-Sánchez, and Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent

8.  "Think Less About Foundations":  A Short Course on Landau and Lifshitz's Course of Theoretical Physics
Karl Hall

9.  In the "Context of Pedagogy":  Teaching Strategy and Theory Change in Quantum Chemistry
Buhm Soon Park

     Part IV.  Generational Reproduction

10.  The Foundations of a Canon:  Kohlrausch's Practical Physics
Kathryn Olesko

11.  Generating High-Energy Physics in Japan:  Moral Imperatives of a Future Pluperfect
Sharon Traweek

Conclusion:  Kuhn, Foucault, and the Power of Pedagogy
Andrew Warwick and David Kaiser

Advanced Praise for Pedagogy and the Practice of Science

"Bewitched on the one side by myths of Scientific Genius and on the other by myths of Scientific Method, historians have neglected the study of the actual forms in which knowledge, norms, and techniques have been transmitted from one generation of scientists to the next. David Kaiser's skillfully edited collection is not only an invitation to address these issues; it is itself a considerable achievement."
    Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

From the Reviews of Pedagogy and the Practice of Science

"Important [and] wide-ranging.  All of the essays are uncommonly well constructed.  The fresh, provocative historiographic claims advanced by individual chapter authors may be the most significant contribution of this volume.  . . .  The ultimate value of Pedagogy and the Practice of Science may well be the large number of new questions it will inspire historians to explore." -- Ronald E. Doel, Isis

"Insightful [and] substantive. . . .  Further examination of such processes, and of other pedagogical issues of the kind so ably addressed in this volume, promises to deepen and clarify our understanding of just how science really works." -- Bruce J. Hunt, British Journal for the History of Science

"The work breaks new, exciting ground. . . .  Pedagogy and the Practice of Science is without question a path-breaking work that refocuses our attention on the crucial activities through which novices and recruits are brought into the mainstream on ongoing professional practice." -- John L. Rudolph, History of Education Quarterly

"Editor David Kaiser and the authors reinvigorate interest in the ways in which novitiates are trained and socialized into the practices of science. . . .  The analyses are insightful and encouraging for a full-fledged research program." -- Amy Crumpton, Technology and Culture

"An engaging collection of essays. . . .  The issues raised by this valuable collection will provide fruitful research questions for all historians of knowledge-making practices." -- Jeff Hughes, Journal of Historical Geography

"The standard of scholarship in this volume is uniformly high and the book fills something of the gap between institutional and disciplinary studies of science on the one hand, and intellectual or conceptual studies on the other.  . . .  The various essays make clear some of the ways in which the generation, validation and transmission of scientific knowledge is much more subtle and complex than they are commonly represented.  Appreciating that subtlety and complexity must be a goal for any programme directed at how science 'works.'" -- Edgar Jenkins, Public Understanding of Science

"This outstanding and stimulating book consists of 11 insightful historical studies grouped into four sections. . . .  The above [summary] thus displays the richness, diversity, and complexity of the pedagogical issues discussed in this fascinating book." -- Roger H. Steuwer, Science Education

"This elegantly produced volume deserves to be widely read.  I hope it inspires others to take up the study of the history and influence of pedagogy in the development of science." -- Jeffrey Kovac, Journal of Chemical Education