B.Ed Teaching Notes
Basic Criteria of validity of Science Curriculum-NCF 2005
Lecturer in Physical science Education
Arafa Institute for teacher Education
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Science is a dynamic, expanding body of knowledge, covering ever-new domains of experience. In a progressive forward-looking society, science can play a truly liberating role, helping people escape from poverty, ignorance and superstitions.
The advances in science and technology have transformed traditional fields of work such as agriculture and industry, and led to the emergence of wholly new fields of work. People today are faced with an increasingly fast-changing world where the most important skills are flexibility, innovation and creativity. These different aspects have to be kept in mind in shaping science education.
Good science education is true to the child, true to life and true to science. This simple observation leads to the following basic criteria of validity of a science curriculum:
1) Cognitive validity: This requires that the content, process, language and pedagogical practices of the curriculum are age appropriate, and within the cognitive reach of the child.
2) Content validity: This requires that the curriculum must convey significant and correct scientific information. Simplification of content, which is necessary for adapting the curriculum to the cognitive level of the learner, must not convey meaningless messages.
3) Process validity: This requires that the curriculum should engage the learner in acquiring the methods and processes that lead to the generation and validation of scientific knowledge and nurture the natural curiosity and creativity of the child in science. Process validity is an important criterion since it helps the student in 'learning to learn' science.
4) Historical validity: This requires that the science curriculum be informed by a historical perspective, enabling the learner to appreciate how the concepts of science evolve over time. It also helps the learner to view science as a social enterprise and to understand how social factors influence the development of science.
5) Environmental validity: This requires that science be placed in the wider context of the learner's environment, local and global, enabling him/her to appreciate the issues at the interface of science, technology and society, and equipping him/her with the requisite knowledge and skills to enter the world of work.
6) Ethical validity: This requires that the curriculum promote the values of honesty, objectivity, cooperation, and freedom from fear and prejudice, and inculcate in the learner a concern for life and preservation of the environment.
Thus according to NCF 2005 a curriculum is valid only if it has the above mentioned six validities.