ERIC Number: EJ989720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Authoritarian Science Curriculum Standards as Barriers to Teaching and Learning: An Interpretation of Personal Experience
Wallace, Carolyn S.
Science Education, v96 n2 p291-310 Mar 2012
This is a critical time for the science education community as we embark on the creation and implementation of new national science standards. The purpose of this essay is to offer insight into how the language of curriculum standards, including that found in state science standards in the United States over the past 15 years, has posed barriers to meaningful science teaching and learning. I synthesize research from educational policy, science education, curriculum theory, critical inquiry, and my own experiential learning from a particular case in the state of Georgia to analyze the effects of authoritarian standards language on science classroom teaching. I argue that curriculum standards based on a "content and product model" of education (A. V. Kelly, 1999), have been incongruent with research from cognitive psychology, science identity formation, language use, and science as inquiry. The final portion of the essay considers how a process-oriented set of curriculum standards, for example that found in New Zealand, could provide a more empowering epistemological foundation for classroom teaching.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Cognitive Psychology, Educational Policy, Science Education, Synthesis, Experiential Learning, Grade 10, Biology, Accountability, Neoliberalism, Educational Philosophy, Curriculum Design, Politics of Education, Epistemology, Barriers, Academic Standards, National Standards, State Standards, Discourse Analysis, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Teaching Methods, Policy Analysis, Power Structure, Professional Autonomy, Science Process Skills, Science Curriculum
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; New Zealand; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001