Promoting science and technology in primary education : a review of integrated curricula

H.L.L. Gresnigt, R. Taconis, Hanno Keulen, van, K.P.E. Gravemeijer, L.K.J. Baartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Integrated curricula seem promising for the increase of attention on science and technology in primary education. A clear picture of the advantages and disadvantages of integration efforts could help curriculum innovation. This review has focused on integrated curricula in primary education from 1994 to 2011. The integrated curricula were categorised according to a taxonomy of integration types synthesised from the literature. The characteristics that we deemed important were related to learning outcomes and success/fail factors. A focus group was formed to facilitate the process of analysis and to test tentative conclusions. We concluded that the levels in our taxonomy were linked to (a) student knowledge and skills, the enthusiasm generated among students and teachers, and the teacher commitment that was generated; and (b) the teacher commitment needed, the duration of the innovation effort, the volume and comprehensiveness of required teacher professional development, the necessary teacher support and the effort needed to overcome tensions with standard curricula. Almost all projects were effective in increasing the time spent on science at school. Our model resolves Czerniac’s definition problem of integrating curricula in a productive manner, and it forms a practical basis for decision-making by making clear what is needed and what output can be expected when plans are being formulated to implement integrated education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-84
Number of pages38
JournalStudies in Science Education
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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