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A Study On The Development Of American Middle School Science Curriculum After The Second World War

Posted on:2016-03-25Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:B Y WangFull Text:PDF
GTID:1107330470950074Subject:Principles of Education
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While the American middle school science education involves a wide range,as themain transmission approach of the science knowledge,the science curriculum plays animportant role in the science education. After World War II in September1945, the UnitedStates has ceaselessly made many school science curriculum reforms. These reforms are themain cause to promote the rapid development of the US middle school science education,and also are major source of the America’s scientific and technological development. Inaddition, as the leader of the technological level in the world, the development model of theAmerican science curriculum has been referenced by many other countries. For example,our middle school science curriculum ideas proposed in recent years can be found inAmerican science curriculum reforms, such as the" Project2061", the American NationalScience Education Standards and the STS education.Continous development of the science and technology requires being unclosed andpositively studying the advanced science curriculum ideology and the hands-on experiencesof other countries in the world. The US, as a power of science and technology can not becircumvented. However, people’s understanding to the American middle school scienceeducation is also not comprehensive or objective. Many people, including scholars,positively rate the middle school science curriculum in the United States and stronglyadvocate advancement and the reference potential of the science education in the UnitedStates, but do not dig its existing problems and drawbacks. It results in blind worship to themiddle school science curriculum in the United States. So we can not choose its essence andabandon its dross. In addition, due to the long-term historical reasons, the cultural andeducation tradition is very different between China and America.To fully explore the development of American middle school science curriculum froma historical perspective is exceedingly meaningful. First, to explore the development ofscience curriculum and to analyze the characteristics of the background and evolution of itsdevelopment are conducive to grasping the overall trend of the US science curriculum development and to avoiding being out of context. Secondly, this study explores thecurriculum reform background, basic propositions, curriculum implementation, and prosand cons of the curriculum of American middle school science curriculum. And the studysummarizes the learned experiences and limitations of the development of the middleschool science curriculum in the United States after World War II. in four aspects which arecurriculum aims, curriculum contents, curriculum implementation, and curriculumevaluation。All above can provide referencese for the development of Chinese middleschool science curriculum.The study of the curriculum mainly focuses on four aspects, namely, curriculum aims,curriculum contents, curriculum implementation, and curriculum evaluation. This is basedon the traditional curriculum making modes, mainly deriving from the aim mode of thecurriculum making represented by Tyler. Based on the role of scientism and humanism inthe American middle school curriculum development, the study divides the Americanmiddle school curriculum development into3stages and discusses them separately. First,scientism-led time: from post World War II to1970s. Secondly, the revival of the humanismtime, from1980s to mid-1990s. Thirdly, the balance of the scientism and the humanismtime, from mid-1990s to now.The thesis is based on the document, historical and comparative method. Firstly, queryand study the documents about middle school science curriculum reforms in the UnitedStates after World War II, and divide the whole period into several stages. Secondly, basedon the current materials, explore curriculum reform background, basic propositions,curriculum implementation, and pros and cons of the curriculum of American middle schoolscience curriculum reform in every stage. Thirdly, based on the aspects, namely, curriculumaims, curriculum contents, curriculum implementation, and curriculum evaluation,summarize the lessons of American middle school science curriculum developments.Finally, provide a reference for the development of China’s middle school sciencecurriculum. Based on the above research ideas, this paper is divided into three parts. Thefirst part includes the first three chapters, it describes the development of the Americanscience curriculum after World War II. The second part includes the fourth chapter, it describes the experience and limitation of the development of the American sciencecurriculum after World War II. The third part is the fifth chapter, it describes the inspirationfor the development of Chinses science curriculum.The first chapter describes the evolution of secondary school science curriculum in theUnited States from the end of World War II to in the late1970s. In the early postwar period,affected by progressivism, required courses were in low proportion,while the electivecourses were in high proportion. The middle school curriculums are mostly living courses.And physics, chemistry and other academic science courses were not considered seriously.Days after the1957Soviet satellite, the United States launched a massive curriculumreform movement, essentialism and structuralism became the main theoretical basis ofcurriculum reform. After1958, study time of middle school science courses were extendedto at least a year. And the elite science curriculum emphasizing discipline structure andfocusing on the students’ scientific research ability were considered seriously gradually andpromoted in a wide range. To the mid-1960s, the United States faced a series of socialcontradictions such as war, poverty, unemployment and so on. The livelihood courses werepromoted again, and the proportion of science courses was reduced. Affected by thelivelihood education, the basic education in US is seriously reduced. Beginning mid-1970s,the United States launched the "Return to base motion", and the academic sciencecurriculum was considered seriously again. In short, the middle school science curriculumhad gone through theperiod of life course stages, the elite course stage, livelihoods stage,and basic course curriculum stage.The second chapter introduces the American middle school science curriculumdevelopment process from mid-1980s to the1990s. During this period, humanism began toaffect American middle school science curriculum reform. With the attention to the basiccourses, the subjectivity of students was also been respected. From the mid-1980s, thealternation of the basic courses and the livelihoods courses disappeared; the two coursesbegan integration. The "Project2061" began advocating improving the students’ scientificliteracy. The science education moves from the elite stage to the public stage. The programgave recommendations about scientific literacy requisite for all students. The third chapter discusses the development of the middle school science curriculumfrom the mid-1990s to now in the United States. During this period, the impact of scientismand humanism to the science education began to reach equilibrium. The science curriculumdoes not only focus on the scientific knowledge and ability, but also pays attention to thestudents’ emotional education. In addition, the American National Science EducationStandards point out that the science education should be for all students, and it described thecourse contents all students need to master. The American Next Generation ScienceStandards emphasizes more the humanism of the curriculum objectives. It points out thatthe students should be fostered to have the ability to apply the scientific knowledge to solvethe practical problems.The fourth chapter describes the experience and limitation of the development of theAmerican science curriculum after World War II. The experience includes the followaspects. First, the establishment of the course objectives, including attention to the balanceof "social standard" and "student centered", as well as focusing on the integration ofknowledge, skills and emotional goals. Secondly, the design of the course content, includingthe diverse practices and the scientific knowledge. Thirdly, the curriculum implementation.Including the increasing proportion of the science curriculum, the increasing popularity ofthe integrated science curriculum, flexible classroom teaching, and the wide variety ofscience curriculum. Fourth, the development of curriculum evaluation. Including adhere tothe student as the main, and advocate the integrated evaluation.The limatation, First,decentralization resulting in varying levels of curriculum development. Including varyinglevels of course content and science teaching. Secondly, to promote freedom and democracy,weakening the authority of education. Including teachers’ false good incentive for students,and student disregard the discipline and statute.Chapter fifth gives recommendations to the development of China’s science curriculum.First, establish multi-demensional and comprehensive course objectives, including caringabout the diversity of the objectives choices and boosting the comprehension of thecurriculum objectives. Secondly, establish scientific course content system, includingincreasing the coherence and richness of the course content and increasing the proportion of the science practice activity. Thirdly, develop diverse modes of course implementation,including gradually conduct comprehensive science curriculum and promoting the diversityof the teaching modes. Finally, create the human-centered curriculum evaluation system,including caring about evaluation-oriented humanism and enhancing comprehension of theevaluation contents and promoting the diversion of the evaluation approaches.
Keywords/Search Tags:American basic education, science curriculum, curriculum reform, curriculumdevelopment
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