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Abstract

This article examines secondary-school physics teaching with respect to three levels of curriculum. These are the curriculum as designed by educational authorities and intended for school guidance, as perceived by teachers and translated into classroom practice, and as internalized by students and expressed by achievement on physics tests. In keeping with international usage we refer to these levels of curriculum as the intended, the translated and the achieved. The article is based upon the analysis of curriculum documents and guidelines, teacher assessments of opportunity provided students to learn, and student achievement on a comprehensive physics test. The context for analysis is provided by an ongoing international study of science education in which some 30 participating countries analyze the three curriculum levels and attempt to draw conclusions concerning possible relationships among them. The article reports limited but nevertheless significant relationships found among intentions, translations, and achievement in the teaching of physics in Canadian secondary schools.