chapter  2
18 Pages

Why the science curriculum changes Evolution or social control?

Peter Uzzell1 has traced the changing aims of science education from the early days of school science in the nineteenth century through to the Nuffield projects of the 1960s and the more recent Schools Council project in integrated science (SCISP). What is absent from this admirable article and from other works dealing with the history and development of the science curriculum (such as Jenkins,2 Layton3 and Turner4) is any convincing account of why the curriculum changed in the particular way that it did. In a later article exploring the changing status of science in the curriculum as reflected in official reports, Uzzell concludes:

What is taught, the manner of teaching and the resources for teaching are of crucial importance, as are the needs of children and our country. Who will decide and on what grounds? 5 [our italics]

Our chapter speculates on these questions by taking a historical perspective, in the belief that some light may be shed on the question ‘Who will decide curriculum issues?’ by attempting to ascertain who decided them in the past-for example, in the period so carefully documented by Uzzell and others.