School Science Education in Wales – A ‘Successful Future’?

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This article examines the current state of science education in primary and secondary schools in Wales at a time of significant change in both curriculum and qualifications. It does so against a background of increasing international comparison of pupil attainment and the political imperative for change that perceived weak performance in such measures can create. Whilst reviewing a range of evidence which could be used to judge the effectiveness of science education in Wales, the article also considers the potential impact upon the curriculum of a focus upon ‘scientific literacy’ in international tests and the likely consequences of current plans to combine science with technology in the curriculum. Centralised reform seldom focuses upon pedagogy, yet the approaches to teaching and learning being adopted in classrooms are arguably more significant than curriculum change. It is therefore salient to review the extent to which research-informed pedagogical shifts in science education are reflected in inspection evidence or guidance. The article concludes with a consideration of the likely consequences of divergence in science assessment and qualifications between Wales and its larger near-neighbour England in the context of a UK-wide higher education marketplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-61
Number of pages21
JournalWales Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2016


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