ERIC Number: EJ718594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 28
Learners and Teachers as Co-Designers of Relevant Science Curricula
Stears, Michele; Malcolm, Cliff
Perspectives in Education, v23 n3 p21-30 Sep 2005
In this project the researchers worked with Grade 6 learners and teachers on the Cape Flats of Cape Town, South Africa, to design a science module that builds on learners' experiences and responds to their needs. The project went beyond learning processes and contexts, to incorporate learners' purposes and interests, the circumstances of their lives, and problems they would like to address. In a framework of learner-centred education and social constructivism, the research had interpretive and participative phases, first to understand the learners' lives and interests, and then design and conduct a module in which participation enabled further investigation of relevance. The data comprise interviews, observations, learners' writing, drawings and oral accounts and video-tapes of lessons. The research found that learners became thoroughly involved in the project, shaping the purposes, content, context and learning, bringing their everyday knowledge and concerns into the classroom and providing insight into relevance and the ways they use knowledge. Their participation resulted in themes and outcomes that extended beyond traditional science: the social, cultural and personal aspects of their lives, especially the practical aspects of survival, impact on their interests and the way they experienced science and thus provided a framework for deciding what is worth learning.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Grade 6, Learning Processes, Student Interests, Constructivism (Learning), Student Centered Curriculum, Science Education, Curriculum Design, Student Participation
Perspectives in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)12 420 4732; Fax: +27 (0)12 362 5122; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa