The Enactment and Impact of Key Stage 4 Science Education Reforms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Education


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Description Multiple aims and associated values
The stakeholders involved in the activities leading to the development of the revised KS4 science curriculum had different aims for the reform. These aims reflect the differing values of these stakeholders. Thus, multiple aims are identifiable within the documentation associated with the science curriculum reform.

Enactment within specific workplace contexts
Teachers' responses to the curriculum reforms were guided by: personal goals, biography and professional identity; internal features of their workplace such as departmental collegiality, student background and school ethos; and external features such as educational policies outside of science (e.g. personalisation of the school curriculum) and national accountability measures (e.g. attainment league tables). Policy-makers need to recognise that meaningful teacher change takes time and that teachers do not respond to a curriculum reform in isolation from other education policies.

Science course provision: Diversification and stratification
Since the introduction of the 2006 reforms, science participation at KS4 has become increasingly diverse. Many teachers report that this flexibility has enabled them to respond effectively to the differing needs of their students. This diversification is accompanied by an ongoing stratification by gender and socioeconomic status. For example, students claiming free school meals are heavily under-represented within GCSE Triple Award Science, and this stratification has remained largely unchanged. Student prior attainment in science is the principal determinant of stratification by socioeconomic status within KS4 and KS5 science.
Exploitation Route Further exploration of these findings need tobe explored in additional national country contexts.
Sectors Education

Description Science teachers' experiences of educational reform in Sweden: Enacting national tests and grading at Y6 
Organisation Uppsala University
Department Uppsala Clinical Research Center
Country Sweden 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Conceptual frameworks from the EISER ESRC project have informed this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution They have led a five year research project that has a strand focused on teachers' of educational reform in Sweden
Impact 'Teachers' responses to the introduction of local grading, and national testing, in Sweden.', Lidar, M., Lundqvist, E., Almqvist, J. and Ryder, J. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the British Education Research Association, London, September 2014.
Start Year 2013