A history of the struggle to establish science for all in school curricula in England
- Paperback / softback, 218 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
- 1 Feb 2019
- UCL IOE Press
Edgar Jenkins is Emeritus Professor of Science Education Policy at the University of Leeds.
CONTENTS: Introduction; 1. The nineteenth-century background; 2. Elementary school science: The false dawn; 3. Elementary school science, 1862–1904; 4. Secondary school science, 1800–1902: A humane subject? 5. School science, 1904–44; 6. Science for All?; 7. Reflections; References; Index
‘A superb, informative and rigorous book on the history of the science curriculum in England by an outstanding scholar. Professor Edgar Jenkins has produced an enormously helpful companion for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of curriculum reform, including policy makers, curriculum developers, teacher educators, educational researchers as well as teachers.'
'Never has the need for such a comprehensive and thoroughly researched and critical account of how science education has developed in England been greater than it is now.’
History is a complex, messy subject, so often over-simplified to a few specific events and key individuals. Focusing on the history of science education in Britain over the last 200 years, Edgar Jenkins has avoided the ‘easy way’ and instead shown the richness, complexity, and multi-stranded nature of the story. The quality, depth, and breadth of the research into primary documentation is exceptional. Equally laudable is the author’s ability to construct a narrative from the ‘thickets and undergrowth’ of the overwhelming quantity of source material. Through this narrative the reader encounters the long-forgotten pioneers of science education John Stevens Henslow and Richard Dawes. Jenkins discusses the impact of Henry Armstrong and his heuristic method, which has been periodically reborn as the discovery method. Multitudinous government reports have been succinctly discussed in the context of their times, especially as part of the recurring ‘process versus content’ debates. In Jenkins’s concluding 'Reflections', he points out not just what has been achieved but, more importantly, what is urgently yet to be accomplished. No one can truly understand science education in Britain until they have read this book.