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Perspectives on Education

'Perspectives on Education' is a series of occasional reports intended to stimulate debate on issues affecting science education. Each publication presents accessible and well-argued views from a range of experts on a chosen topic. We aim to present the research, policy and practice implications of the discussions contained in each issue to help promote well-informed debate and discussion.

We are grateful to the readers who contributed to an evaluation of 'Perspectives' in 2012. Respondents were positive about the series: 83 per cent agreed that 'Perspectives' provides them with an understanding of an issue from a range of different viewpoints and 86 per cent agreed that it keeps them informed on particular areas of science education.

Perspectives on Education: Effects from accountabilities
Effects from accountabilities A good education in science - or indeed in any discipline - is impossible without good governance and accountability. This issue explores how accountability systems affect the quality of science education in England, suggesting that a system which is less reliant on a narrow set of examination performance measures should be explored. The authors are: Andreas Schleicher of the OECD; former Chief Inspector of Schools Mike Tomlinson; headteacher Joan Sjovoll (Framwellgate School Durham); and Chris Williamson and Jo Field, governors of Howard of Effingham Secondary School. DownloadDownload full-colour report [PDF 1MB]
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Previous issues

Perspectives on Education: Inquiry-based learning

Inquiry-based learning
In recent years, inquiry-based learning has attracted much attention and debate in the UK, with government bodies supporting its use. What is its role in an inspiring education, and what are its boundaries and limitations? The authors are: Dr Jim Ryder, Reader in Science Education, University of Leeds; Professor Pierre Léna, Emeritus Professor, Université Paris Diderot; Dr Sue Horner, former Director of Curriculum, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; and Neil Dixon, Teacher of Chemistry, South Bromsgrove Community School. (You can also read their contributions and comments upon them on the Wellcome Trust blog.)

Download full-colour report [PDF 1.28MB]

Download printer-friendly black-and-white version [PDF 310KB]


Perspectives on Education: Primary-secondary Transfer in Science cover

Primary-secondary Transfer in Science
Leading experts in primary-secondary transfer look at the dips in attitudes and attainment often associated with the move from primary to secondary school, their particular relevance to science education, and what improvements are being made to better support students through the transition. The authors are Professor Maurice Galton (Cambridge University), Martin Braund (University of York) and Anne Diack (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, formerly from the Department for Children, Schools and Families Innovation Unit).

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Primary Science
In the first report in the series, Wynne Harlen of the University of Bristol and Peter Tymms and colleagues from the University of Durham take a historical look at primary science in England over the 20th century. They give their views on its place in the National Curriculum and on the causes and implications of trends in attainment, attitudes and teaching approaches.

Download report [PDF 456KB]

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