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Providing an overview of current issues in UK science education, Changes in Science Education is a free course that examines what type of science the curriculum should cover and for what purpose. It will introduce you to the practical problems of delivering an effective science curriculum, touching upon particular questions at all three educational tiers - primary, secondary and tertiary.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of problems associated with defining the Nature of Science
- write in an informed way about the purposes of compulsory science education
- be aware of the educational complications and implications associated with the phrase ‘the public understanding of science’
- show an ability to comment critically on curriculum proposals that aim to promote science citizenship/scientific literacy
- provide examples of how specific scientific understanding might be used by lay individuals in a practical context.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Course overview
- 2 What is science?
- 3 Problems of teaching the Nature of Science
- 4 Who is science education for?
- 5 Education for democracy?
- 6 The public understanding of science
- 7 A way ahead? – Beyond 2000
- 8 What are the chances that scientific literacy will prevail?
- 9 Evidence of progress?
- 10 ‘Science for all?’ A look at some contexts
- 11 Primary science
- 12 Science in secondary schools
- 13 Post-compulsory science education
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Changes in Science Education
This course is an adapted extract from the Open University course
This course provides an account of the major developments in the planning and delivery of the school science curriculum in the UK in a succinct and approachable way. The course was written in 2003 and although there have been a number of developments in the teaching of school science since that time, in particular the introduction of new science courses at GCSE level and beyond, the thinking behind such innovations is outlined in what follows, as it describes the transition between traditional and new style curricula.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in Science.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Educational Technology and Practice courses or view the range of currently available OU Educational Technology and Practice courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 24th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 24th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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