Science curriculum formation in Denmark: Challenges in introducing a new curriculum

Seth Chaiklin

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review

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    The focus of this paper is to give an account of the process by which the most recent physics/chemistry lower-secondary school curriculum was formed in Denmark. The main empirical source is interviews with five key persons involved in producing the curriculum. New features were introduced into the curriculum for the first time, including competence goals and a special matrix structure for describing the entire curriculum in terms of learning goals. The specific concern of this investigation was that apparent discrepancies between the actual curriculum document, and the ways in which it was being presented would serve to create unnecessary difficulties for teachers. This issue is particularly salient in relation to the Danish curriculum, because teachers are expected to interpret specific curriculum requirements in relation to the general purpose of subject, and then form teaching units that often must integrate different points within these requirements. Rather than speculate about the validity of these discrepancies, the aim was to reveal the actual process by which the curriculum was formed, in order to give an empirical underpinning for a sharper interpretation of the actual document. The expectation is that more insight into the actual construction of the curriculum will help teachers and researchers better understand how to approach using an official curriculum. The interviews revealed several critical points where the actual document produced did not actually reflect the general characteristics that were used to describe the curriculum. While these mismatches do not make the new curriculum unusable, the lack of documentation and public acknowledgement of these discrepancies serve to hinder productive use of the curriculum. The paper concludes with a reflection about the need for acknowledging discrepancies in the communication of official curriculum documents, as a way to improve the realisation of their intentions.
    Publikationsdato21 aug. 2017
    StatusUdgivet - 21 aug. 2017
    Begivenhed12th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association - Dublin, Irland
    Varighed: 21 aug. 201725 aug. 2017


    Konference12th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association


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