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Science in English primary schools : trends in attainment, attitudes and approaches.

Tymms, P. and Bolden, D.S. and Merrell, C. (2008) 'Science in English primary schools : trends in attainment, attitudes and approaches.', Perspectives on education : primary science. (1). pp. 19-42.


We review trends in attainment, attitudes and approaches to science education in English primary schools over time. We focus on the primary age range 5–11 years and look at evidence of children’s attainment levels and attitudes towards science over the last 50 years. Where possible we develop descriptions of what children know and can do in science as they move through these primary years. This is linked to changes to the curriculum and to the way in which science and science-related activities have been approached in the classroom. Our review considers the international evidence from the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and similar studies that throw light on England’s standing against other countries and how that has changed over time. We also review the ways in which teachers perceive science and whether those perceptions have changed over time. Trends of pupils opting for science courses in secondary school are briefly mentioned. We conclude by relating the findings to some government initiatives and discussing implications for the future.

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Record Created:30 May 2012 15:20
Last Modified:06 Jul 2016 14:18

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