Science & Education

, Volume 16, Issue 3–5, pp 335–352 | Cite as

The Application of Historical Narrative in Science Learning: The Atlantic Cable Story

  • Stephen Klassen


The use of historically based stories to teach science has both theoretical and practical support. This paper outlines how the historically based story may be utilized effectively in the classroom and, as an illustration of this, presents the story of Lord Kelvin’s role in the laying of the first trans-Atlantic communications cable during the period from 1857 to 1866. Expected and observed classroom benefits that accrue from this approach are summarized. The paper concludes with an outline of a program of research which incorporates the development of historically based stories.


Science Learn Coaxial Cable Historical Narrative Cable Length Instructional Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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The researching and writing of this paper was made possible, in part, through funding provided by The University of Winnipeg and the NSERC CRYSTAL at The University of Manitoba.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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