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Title: Pacific Elementary Science: A Case Study of Educational Planning for Small Developing Nations
Contributor(s): Taylor, Neil (author)orcid ; Vlaardingerbroek, Barand (author)
Publication Date: 2000
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Abstract: The value of science education as a development strategy for the economic and technological modernization of developing nations is widely acknowledged (Walberg, 1991; Benavot, 1992). At the societal level, elementary science education has the potential to improve living conditions through addressing local problems with respect to such basic needs as clean water, sound nutrition, and personal health (Lewin, 1993). It was such considerations as these, associated with basic human needs, that prompted the "Science For All" paradigm arising from the UNESCO Minedap V conference (UNESCO, 1986, p. 137). It is widely accepted that quality elementary science education at the primary school level is a vital component of an effective science education regime for a developing country. The Second International Science . Study of 1984 revealed there to be a high correlation between primary and secondary samples' mean scores on the instruments used (Postlethwaite, 1991, pp. 44, 57). Later, Benavot (1992) reported that the time spent on primary science correlated positively with the economic growth rate for a variety of nations. Developing counties have invested heavily in school science education since the 1960s, but by the beginning of the 1990s, concerns about instructional quality and student achievement were becoming acute (Lewin, 1993). A variety of developmental approaches have been experimented with, from outright adoption of curricula from Western countries (usually the former colonial power), to endogenous curriculum development efforts (see Montero-Sieburth, 1992). This article presents a case study of elementary science curriculum development in a group of small Pacific nations. It is argued that neither the exogenous nor fully endogenous models are maximally effective for these small states, and a compromise model is proposed.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Educational Reform, 9(2), p. 155-162
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield Education
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1056-7879
Field of Research (FOR): 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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