chapter  2
28 Pages

The science curriculum

In Chapter 1 mention was made of the curriculum change that has taken place over the last few years and the fact that much of this has arisen from a sense of dissatisfaction amongst science teachers about the nature of the science taught. However, it is not just in the area of science that there has been a transformation of the curriculum. All other subjects have had to consider which elements of their field should be taught. Questions have been raised by curriculum developers as to the contribution each subject can make to the development of the whole child. Not only have the developers got to consider which subjects should be included in the curriculum but also they have had to reckon how much time should be allocated to each subject. It is easy to argue for the place of mathematics and English on the timetable of every pupil but can you argue for the place of science? In order to do this we need to appreciate the special contribution that science can make to the development of each pupil. In Chapter 1 there was a list of important skills, that form part of all science courses, related to enabling the pupil to think and act scientifically. In addition there is a bank of knowledge that will help pupils to have a better understanding of the world around them. But what are the important items of knowledge and what about the time allocation for science in comparison with other subjects? All subject teachers consider that their course is important and there are many strong arguments for increasing the time allocation for all subjects, for example: Surely it is important for pupils to learn at least one additional European language thoroughly so that they can communicate effectively with our European partners? It is essential that pupils have a grasp of the historical development of our country to give them a clearer understanding of modem day events. Personal and social development sessions are a vital part of school life to help pupils come to terms with the complex world in which we all live.