This response to the two papers (by Rodriguez and Carlone et al.) on science education reform acknowledges first the coherence of the arguments presented around four reform narratives; that of the process of becoming science-enthusiastic, the nature of beliefs of science reform teachers, the barriers to reform, and the institutional expressions of these barriers. In the commentary I first discuss the reform ‘problem’ in terms of two interacting issues—the purposes of school science and the value placed on it in an elementary school curriculum. The insights produced in these papers are then used to reflect on a range of experiences and current policy debates in Australia. Finally, in this commentary, I point out: (a) the relationship of the papers to the reform issue of opposition to Standards Based Science (SBS) from proponents’ traditional conceptions of science education, discussing how this more specific reform question relates to the two papers; and (b) the singular nature of the I-meanings characterised in the Carlone et al. paper, describing (using Australian examples) how the notions of tempered radicals and I-meanings might also be used to characterise complexities in the processes of school science reform.
Field of Research
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy