Lessons from the past: An historical analysis of science education (biology) curriculum reforms, 1950 to 1975
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Ronald N. Giese
The purpose of this study was to determine what relationship existed between preservice science (biology) teacher education and the reforms in secondary school biology that occurred between 1950 and 1975. Research questions were generated which dealt with the collaboration of the various sectors of education as well as if the prospective teachers were being trained to teach the reform curricula through their college science and teacher education coursework.;Content analysis of textbooks was utilized to determine the content of textbooks on the secondary and higher education level. The secondary texts contrasted were Modern Biology and the BSCS Blue and Green series. A variety of textbooks were analyzed for higher education biology including those authored by Villee and Weisz. Teacher education methods textbooks which covered science education or biology teaching were also analyzed. Five topics were analyzed in each of the textbooks: the scientific method, classification, amphibians, heredity, and ecology. The evaluation instrument was adapted from the Curriculum Materials Analysis System for Science (Haussler & Pittman, 1973) and the Virginia Department of Education Science Textbook Evaluation Instrument.;It was hypothesized that the analyses would reveal that innovations and reforms in high school biology textbooks preceded reforms in higher education teacher education programs which would indicate that prospective teachers were not being taught the necessary skills, behaviors, or methods in their required coursework to adequately institute the reforms on the secondary level. It was also hypothesized that the analyses would reveal an inordinately long period of time before prospective teachers were being instructed in the methods necessary for them to function effectively in secondary classrooms with the reform curricula.;It was concluded that there was generally very little collaboration between the various sectors of education during 1950 and 1975. The first hypothesis was confirmed and the second hypothesis supported but not totally confirmed due to the lack of information on how textbooks were actually used in the teacher education classrooms. Further research is needed in this area.;Additional findings of the study indicate that textbooks from the recent past are difficult to locate and thus a significant portion of the history of education is disappearing.
© The Author
Holzmann, Gwetheldene Louise, "Lessons from the past: An historical analysis of science education (biology) curriculum reforms, 1950 to 1975" (1994). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1539618617.
Higher Education Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons, Secondary Education Commons