Grassmann, Pauli, Dirac: special relativity in the schoolroom
Hermann Günther Grassmann spent nearly all of his professional life as a teacher of mathematics and physics in Stettin. Unfortunately, it is not known to what extent he taught his new mathematical concepts at school and how intensively he tried to implement his theory of extensions in his way of teaching standardmathematics and standard physics in the schoolroom. No special traces of Grassmann’smodernmathematical concepts can be found by analysing the recollections of his students. Their reports only seem to reflect difficulties with classroom discipline and the students’ inability to grasp large parts of his mathematical teachings. Modern didactical concepts were rare and mathematics seemed to be taught in the same way that languages were taught. And, very often, the only task of the students was to repeat what the teacher had presented [Schwartze 1996].
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