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The science curriculum: What has changed?

The Nature of Science strand is now central and explicit

The Nature of Science strand, comprising understanding about science, investigating in science, communicating in science, and participating and contributing in science, is now central to all science learning.

The focus of the Nature of Science strand is ideas about science; the focus of the contextual strands is the ideas of science. Student scientific literacy derives from learning that involves both kinds of ideas.

The four contextual strands of the curriculum (living world, material world, physical world, and planet earth and beyond) are referred to in this guide by the more familiar names of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science, except where the curriculum is directly sourced (as with the achievement objectives).

They provide the contexts through which the Nature of Science is explored. Learning programmes may integrate the contextual strands as, for example, in biochemistry, astrophysics, and marine biology. Ideally, integration will also occur across learning areas within the curriculum.

While content knowledge continues to be important, the emphasis of the curriculum is on science as a process.

Last updated December 3, 2010