Sharp, John G. and Grace, Marcus
Anecdote, opinion and whim: lessons in curriculum development from primary science education in England and Wales
Research Papers in Education, 19, (3), . (doi:10.1080/0267152042000247981).
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On 1 August 1989, the introduction of a National Curriculum of subjects to all maintained schools throughout England and Wales brought compulsory science education into the primary sector for the first time. As a direct result of its elevated profile and an immense amount of hard work and effort by teachers and other professionals responding to requirements, science education provision benefited enormously. Despite this, however, successive overhauls and radical revisions of primary science have brought about many questionable changes, some not necessarily for the better or resulting in improvement. This article presents a critical, analytical and personal review of the history and development of science in the primary school and draws attention to the need for care at times when classroom practices and expectations are driven by national science curricula that remain to be fully informed. Astronomy is used to contextualize some of the changes at their most extreme.
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