Cognitive demands of the reformed Queensland physics, chemistry and biology syllabus: an analysis framed by the New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

Johnson, Claudia, Boon, Helen, and Dinan Thompson, Maree (2021) Cognitive demands of the reformed Queensland physics, chemistry and biology syllabus: an analysis framed by the New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Research in Science Education. (In Press)

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Abstract

Learning objectives outline the knowledge and skills to be taught in a subject, thus signaling what is worth learning and what type of thinking is valued. The aim of this syllabus analysis is to determine the cognitive demand of learning objectives in the recently reformed Queensland physics, chemistry and biology syllabus and to analyse whether the development of students’ metacognitive and self-system thinking is embedded in the curriculum. Marzano and Kendall’s (2007) New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives was used as a theoretical framework for the analysis. Results show that cognitive levels of learning objectives are skewed towards the lower order thinking skills retrieval and comprehension in all three sciences, with less than 50% of learning objectives at analysis or knowledge utilisation level. Teaching metacognitive and self-system thinking were found to be implicit rather than explicit objectives of the new syllabi. There may be a mismatch between the policy goals of science education in Australia and the cognitive demands emphasised in the new syllabi, fuelling the debate about the right balance of lower order and higher order cognitive skills in secondary science. Implications for pedagogy and stakeholders in science education are discussed.

Item ID: 68139
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-1898
Keywords: Curriculum, Cognition, Secondary/high school, Syllabus analysis
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature 2021
Date Deposited: 25 May 2021 21:39
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160399 Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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