12 Jul 2014
July 12, 2014

Physical Science Study Committee

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Decisions about formal education are always a matter of dispute, since it is a matter of making choices (Kliebard, 1977) about: what should be taught? How it should be taught? Why it should be taught? To whom? Should knowledge be distributed differentially based on capacities and or destinations? Answers to these questions emerge from complex interactions among several factors such as educational philosophy, social needs, political philosophy, educational psychology, and cataclysmic events such as Sputnik, war and inflation (Mitzel, 1982). School being a social institution, these factors operate at different levels of decision-making — ideological, societal, institutional and instructional. In the decision-making process, there are two basic issues that curriculum people need to address—one pertains to the nature of theories in behavioural sciences (Schwab, 1969, 1983) and the second deals with the role of factors and interest groups in curriculum decisions (Kliebard, 1986). This article will explore the second, with a focus on the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) project.

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