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Towards a more authentic science curriculum: the contribution of out-of-school learning

By Martin Braund and Michael Reiss

Abstract

In many developed countries of the world, pupil attitudes to school science decline progressively across the age range of secondary schooling while fewer students are choosing to study science at higher levels and as a career. Responses to these developments have included proposals to reform the curriculum, pedagogy and the nature of pupil discussion in science lessons. We support such changes but argue that far greater use needs to be made of out-of-school sites in the teaching of science. Such usage will result in a school science education that is more valid and more motivating. We present an „evolutionary model? of science teaching that looks at where learning and teaching take place, and draws together thinking about the history of science and developments in the nature of learning over the last hundred years or so. Our contention is that laboratory-based school science teaching needs to be complemented by out-ofschool science learning that draws on the actual world (e.g. through fieldtrips), the presented world (e.g. in science centres, botanic gardens, zoos and science museums) and the virtual worlds that are increasingly available through information technologies

Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.ioe.ac.uk.oai2:454

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