Elucidation and Elaboration
At the beginning of the workshop the fifty participants were randomly assigned to one of the six Faraday lectures. These six working groups were briefly given the same four-fold assignment but no effort was made to enforce uniformity of treatment and as will be seen there are many differences in the manner of execution.
- Assignment 1.
- To check the original Biederstedt/Davenport transcript for any misreadings and typographical errors and to attempt to figure out obscure words and phrases left untranscribed. These emendations have been incorporated into the final draft of the transcription.
- Assignment 2.
- To present a brief summary of Faraday's subtle and elegant pedagogy in so far as it can be inferred from his terse and self-addressed lecture notes.
- Assignment 3.
- To compile a numerical listing of the extraordinary number of Exp's or demonstrations that Faraday incorporated into each lecture. This was to be done first in Faraday's exact words followed by a brief modern interpretation or commentary. Few of Faraday's terse descriptions resisted elucidation and a surprising number of his demonstrations remain in the repertoire of today's teachers.
- Assignment 4.
- To develop a performing version of each lecture for group presentation during the last week of the workshop. There were two conditions: the presentations were to be no longer than 30-40 minutes and they could invoke only macroscopic terms and explanations. Both these conditions were occasionally violated; the second was deemed decidedly unsporting. There is, however, much to be said in favor of making any introduction to chemistry primarily macroscopic and experimental. Besides Faraday rested little faith in the reality of atoms and molecules!
Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Chemistry
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281