Teaching for the contextualized learning of science: A checklist-based science curriculum analysis



Checklist development, contextualized learning, science curriculum, science education, 21st century competences


Contextualized leaning is required for students to master successfully the big ideas of science and to perceive the relevance of science education. The science curriculum can either foster or impair teaching for contextualized learning depending on what science they plan to be taught and the way they recommend this to be done. This paper presents an analysis of the Portuguese science curriculum documents, which aims at finding out whether or not they promote science teaching for contextualized learning. Data collected through a checklist-based content analysis show that the seven science curriculum documents analysed include instances related to the contextualization of science. However, the analysis also revealed differences between the different documents, which can be puzzling for science teachers and limit the impact of the science curriculum recommendations upon teachers’ teaching practices. Thus, action should be taken to increase consistency among science curriculum documents so that the recommendations relative to teaching for contextualized learning become more effective for the benefit of the 21st century students.


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