Developing a good science syllabus for an optimistic future:A classroom teacher's perspective

Year: 2000

Author: KEYS, P

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The Queensland School Curriculum Council has recently released the first of eight new syllabus documents: the years 1 to 10 science syllabus. Whilst change is nothing new, what is different is that it is the first time for teachers to be involved in writing and developing their own school-based program. Previously science syllabuses in Queensland were written in a form that required little or no school based curriculum development.This paper reports on a perspective of science curriculum change by practicing classroom teachers. Data were collected through focus groups and interviews with teachers and gauged in the early phase of implementation. Major findings to be discussed include; issues of curriculum structure, professional development, issues of changing from didactic to child centred learning, science teaching self-efficacy and teacher content knowledge. The researcher, as a participant observer, has adopted Eisner's (1991) methodology of educational criticism. It provides a rich analysis and portrayal of the concerns of teachers in school based curriculum development that may not otherwise be expressed. This paper provides an insight into the practical theories held by teachers, which may impact on their preparedness to adopt the new curriculum. The implications for professional development will be discussed further.