Newton’s color theory: an example of the use of the history of science in classroom situations

This paper analyses some features of Newton's theory of light and colors, especially as presented in his paper of 1672, as an example of the classroom use of History of Science. Although this theory is nowadays accepted and taught without discussion, it is not so simple as it seems and many questions arise from a critical study. Besides, an inadequate use of History of Science in Science Teaching may convey to the students a wrong conception of the scientific method.

Isaac Newton; History of Optics; theory of colors; Science Teaching; scientific method

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação para a Ciência, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Faculdade de Ciências, campus de Bauru. Av. Engenheiro Luiz Edmundo Carrijo Coube, 14-01, Campus Universitário - Vargem Limpa CEP 17033-360 Bauru - SP/ Brasil , Tel./Fax: (55 14) 3103 6177 - Bauru - SP - Brazil