Michael Faraday the educator - an essay to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Faraday’s Death

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Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is renowned for his outstanding contribution to science and technology during the first half of the nineteenth century. However, he is less well known for his contribution to education. In the present paper, an outline of Faraday’s own education is presented, and how this experience inspired him to pass on his knowledge to others. This was mainly achieved through his popular science lectures - Chemical History of a Candle, delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, in London on 19 occasions between 1825 and 1860, and through his popular textbook for students: Chemical Manipulation (London, 1828). The author examines Faraday’s methodology of teaching chemistry by analysing a fragment of one of his lectures, and also by summarizing the content of Chemical Manipulation, and commenting on some excerpts from it. Using Faraday’s approach to chemistry education as a model, the author challenges today’s chemistry teaching programme for schools, and makes a suggestion for its improvement.

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