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Durham e-Theses
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Science in a rural comprehensive school: a case study

Thorn, Brian Edwin (1985) Science in a rural comprehensive school: a case study. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The study is concerned with the evaluation of aspects of science education in a small rural comprehensive school. A review of the literature establishes links between curriculum development and evaluation which are regarded as essentially two halves of the same process. Curriculum is defined as the sum of all formal and informal learning which occurs within schools. A naturalistic methodology is used since it is claimed that the richness of the description obtained illuminates areas of concern far more effectively than purely quantitative techniques would allow. An eclectic approach, using a variety of data gathering strategies, is employed; then emerging issues are subjected to 'progressive focussing’. Trials of the new Nuffield Combined Science course were considered with reference to the suitability of the materials for use with mixed-ability groups of first year pupils. Problems posed by scientific language are investigated through readability measures applied to textbooks and worksheets. A general lack of understanding reported by pupils on Integrated Science courses and reactions of teachers and pupils to girls in science form major areas of the research. Consideration of pupil- teacher relationships in science poses the question of whether teachers should involve pupils in the decision-making and curriculum development: reference is made to recent research conducted on this issue. Seeking to illuminate those aspects of, science teaching and learning which are perceived as important, the issues are presented, wherever possible, in the participants' own words supplemented by description with a view to achieving greater understanding of current practice. The question of whether such methods are useful tools in the process of school self-evaluation and staff development is left for the staff of the school to decide when they have had the opportunity to assess the results of the study.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1985
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:44

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