Pedagogic Doublethink: Scientific Enquiry and the Construction of Personal Knowledge Under the English National Curriculum for Science

  • Keith S. Taber


The English National Curriculum (for 5–16 year olds) for the science taught in English schools has had unintended as well as planned effects. There has been extensive government involvement in the professional work of teachers through inspection regimes, offering direction on the nature of formal assessment, and emphasising the outcomes of high status tests as public markers of educational quality. The chapter considers where these efforts have supported teachers in meeting widely accepted aims of science education, and where they have—often inadvertently—restricted good teaching practice and undermined efforts to teach in accordance with the principles of constructivist educational theory: working against teachers’ flexibility to respond to the needs of students, undermining meaningful enquiry teaching, and restricting effective teaching about socio-scientific issues.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith S. Taber
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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