Advertisement

Science Education in Nova Scotia: Building on the Past, Facing the Future

  • G. Michael Bowen
  • A. Leo MacDonald
  • Marilyn Webster
Chapter

Abstract

Nova Scotia has a small, and declining, student base as its general population both decreases and ages. Schools are being closed or amalgamated, which causes disruption within the school system, between the system and parents, and within teacher education programs. Secondary school programs are particularly affected because there may be too few students to offer a wide variety of science courses. Current provincial curriculum directions arise from public consultations undertaken by the province in 2015. The government has committed to continuing with those directives. Historically science programs in NS have been based on an innovative curriculum developed by the Atlantic Science Curriculum Project in the 1980s. However, the current science curriculum has mostly been derived from the 1997 Pan-Canadian Common Framework and has been minimally updated. Recently, the province has begun modifying the elementary science curriculum and has provided various information and communication technology resources (e.g., probeware, robots, programming tools) to schools. The expectation is that teachers will take a more integrated approach to teaching science across multiple subject areas. Nova Scotia science education faces challenges related to setting entry requirements for BEd programs, providing meaningful professional development opportunities, and including Indigenous perspectives.

Keywords

Science education Science curriculum Science teacher education Nova Scotia Information and communication technology Declining student population 

References

  1. Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation. (1998). Foundation for the Atlantic Canada science curriculum. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Department of Education. Retrieved from https://www.ednet.ns.ca/files/curriculum/camet/foundations-science.pdf Google Scholar
  2. Atlantic Science Curriculum Project. (1986). SciencePlus 1. Toronto, ON: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  3. Atlantic Science Curriculum Project. (1987). SciencePlus 2. Toronto, ON: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  4. Atlantic Science Curriculum Project. (1988). SciencePlus 3. Toronto, ON: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, P. W. (2017, April 13). Provincial exams bring accountability to high school system. The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved from http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1459263-bennett-provincial-exams-bring-accountability-to-high-school-system
  6. Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (1997). Common framework of science learning outcomes, K to 12: Pan-Canadian protocol for collaboration on school curriculum for use by curriculum developers. Toronto, ON: Author. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/commonframework00coun Google Scholar
  7. Government of Nova Scotia. (2015). Governor in council education act regulations made under section 146 of the education act. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/ed-cgic.htm Google Scholar
  8. Minister’s Panel on Education. (2014). Disrupting the status quo: Nova Scotians demand a better future for every student. Halifax, NS: Province of Nova Scotia.Google Scholar
  9. Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2015). The 3Rs: Renew, refocus, rebuild—Nova Scotia’s action plan for education 2015. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://www.ednet.ns.ca/sites/default/files/docs/educationactionplan2015en.pdf Google Scholar
  10. Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2017a). 2016–17 enrolments by board and school. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://www.ednet.ns.ca/docs/2016-17enrolmentsbyboardandschool.xlsx Google Scholar
  11. Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2017b). Mi’kmaq services. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from http://mikmaq.ednet.ns.ca/ Google Scholar
  12. Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board. (2015). Population changes by census division, 1976–2014. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://www.novascotia.ca/finance/statistics/news.asp?id=10641 Google Scholar
  13. Nova Scotia Office of Teacher Certification. (2017a). Certification and endorsation requirements. Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://certification.ednet.ns.ca/certification-and-endorsation-requirements Google Scholar
  14. Nova Scotia Office of Teacher Certification. (2017b). What is an “approved program of professional studies”? Halifax, NS: Author. Retrieved from https://certification.ednet.ns.ca/what-approved-program-professional-studies Google Scholar
  15. Nova Scotia Teachers Union. (2019). Schedule D1 August 1, 2015–July 31, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.nstu.ca/data/negotiationsprov/SalaryScales2017.pdf
  16. Statistics Canada. (2011). Population, urban and rural, by province and territory (Nova Scotia). Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo62d-eng.htm Google Scholar
  17. Statistics Canada. (2015). Table A.1.1 estimates and projections of population aged 0 to 29, by age group, Canada, provinces and territories, 1991 to 2036. Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-582-x/2015002/tbl/tbla1.1-eng.htm Google Scholar
  18. Statistics Canada. (2016). Table C.2.4 full-time educators (headcount) in public elementary and secondary schools, number and percentage distribution by sex and age group, Canada and provinces, 2003/2004 and 2013/2014. Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-582-x/2016001/tbl/tblc2.4-eng.htm Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Michael Bowen
    • 1
  • A. Leo MacDonald
    • 2
  • Marilyn Webster
    • 3
  1. 1.Mount Saint Vincent UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Saint Francis Xavier UniversityAntigonishCanada
  3. 3.Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood DevelopmentHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations