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: a) Cognitive validity requires that the content, process, language and pedagogical practices of the curriculum are age appropriate, and within the cognitive reach of the child. b) Content validity requires that the curriculum must convey significant and correct scientific content. Simplification of content, which is necessary to adapt the curriculum to the cognitive level of the learner, must not be so trivialized as to convey something basically flawed and/or meaningless.
c) Process validity requires that the curriculum engage the learner in acquiring the methods and processes that lead to 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. d) Historical validity requires that science curriculum be informed by a historical perspective, enabling the learner to appreciate how the concepts of science evolve with time. It also helps the learner to view science as a social enterprise and to understand how social factors influence the development of science.
e) Environmental validity 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 preparing him / her with the requisite knowledge and skills to enter the world of work.
f) Ethical validity requires that the curriculum promote the values of honesty, objectivity, co-operation, freedom from fear and prejudice, and develop in the learner a concern for life and preservation of environment.
2. SCIENCE CURRICULUM AT DIFFERENT STAGES
Consistent with the criteria above, the objectives,...