Quantum Mechanics’ and ‘Scientific Explanation’ An Explanatory Strategy Aiming at Providing ‘Understanding

Science & Education 17 (1):49-73 (2008)

Pandora Hadzidaki
University of Athens
Empirical studies persistently indicate that the usual explanatory strategies used in quantum mechanics (QM) instruction fail, in general, to yield understanding. In this study we propose an instructional intervention, which (a) incorporates into its subject matter a critical comparison of QM scientific content with the fundamental epistemological and ontological commitments of the prominent philosophical theories of explanation - a weak form of which we meet in QM teaching; (b) illuminates the reasons of their failure; and (c) implements an explanatory strategy highly inspired by the epistemological pathways through which, during the birth-process of QM, science has gradually reached understanding. This strategy, an inherent element of which is the meta-cognitive and meta-scientific thinking, aims at leading learners not only to an essential understanding of QM worldview, but to a deep insight into the 'Nature of Science' as well.
Keywords quantum mechanics instruction  scientific explanation  understanding
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DOI 10.1007/s11191-006-9052-8
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References found in this work BETA

Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics1.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.

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