In the programme of study for KS3, in the section on ideas and evidence in science it states (DfEE, 1999:28):Pupils should be taught:
Had the big bang been less violent, the cumulative gravity of all the cosmic material would have caused the entire Universe to fall back on itself after a brief expansion. Alternatively, had the big bang been even bigger, the cosmic material would have been spread out more thinly by the stretching of space and galaxies would never have formed.
(Davies and Gribbin, 1992:162)
|a. about the interplay between empirical questions, evidence and scientific explanations using historical and contemporary examples (for example, Lavoisier's work on burning, the possible cause of global warming)|
|b. that it is important to test explanations by using them to make predictions and seeing if the evidence matches the predictions|
|c. about the ways in which scientists work today and how they worked in the past, including the role of experimentation, evidence and creative thought in the development of scientific ideas.|
Similar statements are made in the Welsh National Curriculum for science, under the heading 'Nature of Science'. But these are not new areas of the NC; a whole attainment target, AT17, was devoted to this area in the original NC of 1989, and this aspect of science has been included in one form or another in each version since then. However, for one reason or another, teachers have largely sidelined the nature of science. Up until fairly recently science textbooks have only made passing reference to the history of science (Monk and Osborne, 1997), and the availability of other resources has been fairly limited. Also, teachers are influenced by the types of questions that appear on external examination papers, and the questions on this topic have been few in number and relatively trivial in the demands made on pupils.
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Publication information: Book title: Improving Secondary Science Teaching. Contributors: John Parkinson - Author. Publisher: RoutledgeFalmer. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 167.
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