Issues and Trends
Cultural myths as constraints to the enacted science curriculum
Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 2, pages 223–241, April 1996
How to Cite
Tobin, K. and McRobbie, C. J. (1996), Cultural myths as constraints to the enacted science curriculum. Sci. Ed., 80: 223–241. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-237X(199604)80:2<223::AID-SCE6>3.0.CO;2-I
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUL 1995
- Manuscript Revised: 16 MAY 1995
- Manuscript Received: 16 MAY 1994
- Australian Research Council
The common sense aspects of traditional practices promise to be a conservative force with respect to the efforts of policymakers to improve the quality of science learning in schools. This study of the teaching of grade 11 chemistry indicates how an experienced teacher made sense of his teaching roles in terms of four cultural myths related to the transmission of knowledge, being efficient, maintaining the rigor of the curriculum, and preparing students to be successful on examinations. These cultural myths were supported in this study by the teacher and students and provided a strong rationale for maintaining the types of classroom practices that reformers are wanting to change. If teachers can be brought to a level of consciousness about myths such as these there is a chance that their viability can be addressed directly and alternative myths can be generated to propel reform in the direction advocated in the myriad reports that presently exhort changes in policy and classroom practice. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.