Research in Science Education

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 281–299 | Cite as

The democratic argument for science curriculum reform in Britain and Australia: 1935–1945

Article

Abstract

The dominance of “academicism” in science education can be shown over the last century. However in the period of this study, when access to a universal secondary education was the main thrust of social reconstruction in Britain and Australia, a key struggle was for a socially-centred general science. The struggle, concerned the terms on which “the spirit of Science alive in the world”, could enter and transform education in schools to meet human needs. The epistemological arguments of the reformers were pragmatic. This study, set initially in an earlier period of depressive capitalism, is an account of how curriculum and cultural change was mediated by educational actors, employing pragmatic arguments for reform which drew on the metaphoric power of a scientific achievements which emanated from their society, to pursue democratic agendas within their workplace and locality.

Keywords

Science Teaching Science Teacher General Science Grammar School Pragmatic Argument 

References

  1. Andrade, E., & Huxley, J. (1934).An introduction to science. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, H. (1925). Training in scientific method as a central motive in elementary schools. In G. Van Pragh (Ed.). (1973).Armstrong and science education (pp. 15–32). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Ashby, E. (1939). Report of meeting establishing the Australian Association of Scientific Workers.Australian Journal of Science, 2(3), 94.Google Scholar
  4. Ashby, E. (1942). Science and social reconstruction.Australian Journal of Science, 5 (4), 4.Google Scholar
  5. Ashby, E. (1947).Scientist in Russia, London: Pelican.Google Scholar
  6. Ashton, D., & Ducker, S. (1993). John Stewart Turner 1908–91.Historical Records of Australian Science, 9(3), 1–26.Google Scholar
  7. Bernal, J. (1939).The social function of science. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bibby, C. (1971).T. H. Huxley on education. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cunningham, K. (1937).Report of the committee on secondary education in Victoria. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  10. Cunningham, K. (Ed.). (1938).Education for complete living. Melbourne: ACER.Google Scholar
  11. Dakin, W. (1918).Elements of animal biology. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Daniel, F. (1936). The general science course in the Federated Malay States.Overseas Education, 8(3), 157–60.Google Scholar
  13. Daniel, F. (1938)General Science for Colonical Schools. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Daniel, F., & Turner, J. (1943/6).General science for Australian schools. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dewey, J. (1938).Experience and education. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Fawns, R. (1987). Clear thinking and scientific method for our future leaders.Research in Science Education, 17, 67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fawns, R. (1988a).The maintenance and transformation of school science. Unpublished PhD thesis, Monash University, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  18. Fawns, R. (1988b). The cultural roots of school biology in Australia—From vitalism to dialectical materialism.Research in Science Education, 17, 67–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fawns, R. (1991). Stories tell but words conceal—Aspects of historiographical research.Research in Science Education, 21, 74–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fawns, R. (1996). The struggle for general science in Australia: The final campaign in the technical schools in Victoria.Research in Science Education, 26(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fensham, P. (1993). Academic influence on school science curricula.Journal of Curriculum Studies, 25(1), 53–64.Google Scholar
  22. Fowles, G. (1939). General science: A chemistry master’s criticism.New Era, 20(6), 145–47.Google Scholar
  23. Goodson, I. (1990).School subjects and curriculum change. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gregory, R. (1916).Discovery or the spirit and service of science. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Haldane, J. B. S. (1939).Science and you (Key Books No. 1). London: Fore.Google Scholar
  26. Hatfield, J. (1938).An introduction to biology. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Heidegger, M. (1962).Being and time, London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hogben, L. (1939),Science for the citizen. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Holmes, B. (1981)Joseph Lauwerys at the London Institute. Libraries Bulletin Supplement 22, London Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  30. Hexley, J. 1932. Biology and cultural view.New Era, 13(1), 6–10.Google Scholar
  31. Jenkins, E. (1979). The general science movement. In E. Jenkins,From Armstrong to Nuffield (pp. 70–107). London: John Murray/ASE.Google Scholar
  32. Jenkins, E. (1981) Science, sentimentalism or social control? The nature study movement in England and Wales 1899–1914.History of Education, 10(1), 15–55.Google Scholar
  33. Jepson, R. (1936–1965).Clear thinking. London: Longmans.Google Scholar
  34. Kliebard, H. (1986).The struggle for the American curriculum. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  35. Lauwerys, J. (1937). General science.School Science Review, 18(72), 466–480.Google Scholar
  36. Lauwerys, J. (1939). General science, a plea for its adoption.New Era, 20(3), 13–18.Google Scholar
  37. Lauwerys, J. (1940). General science now.The Journal of Education, 72(4), 446.Google Scholar
  38. Lauwerys, J. (1940). Reply to Cunningham.Journal of Education, 72(5), 526.Google Scholar
  39. Lauwerys, J. (1941). Review of general science for colonial schools (Books I & II).Overseas Education, 12(2), 101–4.Google Scholar
  40. Layton, D. (1981). The schooling of science in England, 1854–1939. In R. Macleod, & D. Collins (Eds.),The parliament of science (pp. 75–108) London: Science Review Ltd.Google Scholar
  41. Layton, D. (1984).The interpreters of science, London: John Murray/ASE.Google Scholar
  42. Lewis, C. (1938).The abolition of man: Reflections on education with special reference to the teaching of English in the upper forms of schools. London: Geoffrey Bles.Google Scholar
  43. Macleod, R. (1988).Commonwealth of science—ANZAAS. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Medley, J. (1943).Education and democracy. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  45. Melbourne University Schools Examination Board. (1943–60). Course of study for General Science in theHandbook of courses of study and examination prescriptions. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer.Google Scholar
  46. Moran, J. (1983). Rhetoric and representation in Australian science in the 1940’s and 1980’s.Prometheus, 1(3), 9–17.Google Scholar
  47. Morgan, D. (Ed.). (1967).The Web of Life. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science.Google Scholar
  48. Norwood, C. (1943a).Curriculum and examinations in secondary schools—Report of the committee of the secondary schools examination council. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  49. Norwood, C. (1943b). Address to headmaster’s conference quoted by Prof G. Brown, Chairman of the MUSEB. In W. Ricketts (1944),Gateway to science (Preface) Melbourne: Robertson & Mullins.Google Scholar
  50. Nunn, T. (1920).Education: Its data and first principles. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  51. Phillips, M., & Cox, L. (1935).The teaching of biology, London: University of London Press.Google Scholar
  52. Popper, K. 1945.The open society and its enemies (Vol. II). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Preese, J. (1950).Personalities and power in english education, London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  54. Ravetz, J. (1971).Scientific knowledge and its social problems. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Reid, W. (1987). Curricula topics as institutional categories. In I. Goodson & S. Ball (Eds),Defining the curriculum: Histories and ethnographies (pp. 15–36). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  56. Scheffler, I. (1988).Four pragmatists—A critical introduction to Pierce, James, Mead and Dewey. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  57. Science Masters Association. (1936).The teaching of general science (Part 1), London: Science Masters Association.Google Scholar
  58. Shelton, H. (1940). Reply to J. S. Lauwery’s general science and topics.Journal of Education, 72(5), 524–525.Google Scholar
  59. Shelton, H. (1939).Theory and practice of general. London: Munby.Google Scholar
  60. Shelton, H. (1948).A textbook of general science, London: Allman.Google Scholar
  61. Silver, H. (1983).Education as history, London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  62. Snow, C. (1959).The two cultures and the scientific revolution. London: Mentor.Google Scholar
  63. Spencer White, A. (1938)General science chemistry. London: Dent.Google Scholar
  64. Spens, R. (1938).Report of the consultative committee on secondary education with special reference to government schools and technical high schools. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  65. Thouless, R. (1938).Straight and crooked thinking. New York: European University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Turner, J. (1940). Biology in schools: Report of a meeting of the Victorian Branch of the AASW.Australian Journal of Science, 2(3), 10.Google Scholar
  67. Werskey, P. (1978).The invisible college. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  68. Westbury, I. (1983). School Textbooks. In I. Westbury (Ed.),The international encyclopaedia of education research and studies (pp. 58–93). New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  69. Whitehead, A. (1922).The rhythms of education. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  70. Wittgenstein, L. (1958).Philosophical investigations. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australian Science Research Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science and Mathematics EducationUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations