The Polarized Light Microscope: Should we Teach the use of a 19th Century Instrument in the 21st Century?
Mickey Gunter January 2004 Journal of Geoscience Education vol 52 number 1, p 34-44
This Journal of Geoscience Education article discusses reasons that the use of the polarized light microscope (PLM), and the teaching of optical mineralogy in general, is decreasing. The author feels that excluding the subject of optical microscopy is the biggest mistake geoscience teachers could make. The author justifies his statement by citing the fundamentally important concepts presented in optical mineralogy: 1) three-dimensional visualization, 2) inquiry-based learning, and 3) hands-on use of an analytical instrument. The article also includes various uses of the PLM as well as its history and examples of current research usage.