Student understanding and application of science concepts in the context of an integrated curriculum setting

  • Grady Venville
  • Léonie Rennie
  • John Wallace


The integration of science with other disciplines is a popular curriculum reform strategy. However, there is an absence of empirical research into how students understand and apply science concepts in integrated curricula settings. This case study focuses on three pairs of Year 9 students and their understanding and application of the concepts of electrical circuit and current in the construction of a solar-powered boat. Our results revealed some limited evidence of students applying formal science knowledge to complete their projects and bridge the discipline boundaries. However, students did not always hold and use the accepted scientific view of electrical current as they undertook their projects. We conclude that integrated approaches to teaching science may be appropriate to engage students in using scientific knowledge as a tool to solve real-world problems, but raise some questions as to whether they improve conceptual understanding.


Teaching Science Electrical Current Empirical Research Science Knowledge Education Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grady Venville
    • 1
  • Léonie Rennie
    • 1
  • John Wallace
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Mathematics Education CentreCurtin University of TechnologyPerthWestern Australia

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