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Multiple aims in the development of a major reform of the national curriculum for science in England

[journal article]

Ryder, Jim; Banner, Indira

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Abstract In the context of a major reform of the school science curriculum for 14-16 year olds in England we examine the aims ascribed to the reform, the stakeholders involved and the roles of differing values and authority in its development. This reform includes an emphasis on socioscientific issues and the nature of science; curriculum trends of international relevance. Our analysis identifies largely 'instrumental' aims, with little emphasis on 'intrinsic' aims and associated values. We identify five broad categories of stakeholders focusing on different aims with, for example, a social, individual, political or economic emphasis. We suggest that curriculum development projects reflecting largely social and individual aims were appropriated by other stakeholders to serve political and economic aims. We argue that a curriculum reform body representing all stakeholder interests is needed to ensure that multiple aims are considered throughout the curriculum reform process. Within such a body the differentiated character of the science teaching community would need to be represented.
Keywords curriculum
Classification Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics
Free Keywords Policy development; Science education; Scientific literacy; Secondary school
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 709-725
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 33 (2010) 5
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)