DIFFERENT WAYS OF DESCRIBING EXPECTED STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES IN SCIENCE

TitleDIFFERENT WAYS OF DESCRIBING EXPECTED STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES IN SCIENCE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLavonen, J
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume10
Issue1
Start Page4-5
Date PublishedMarch/2011
Type of ArticleEditorial
ISSN1648-3898
Other NumbersICID: 939730
Keywordslearning outcomes, science education
Abstract

The best way of describing what and how a teacher should teach science or what a student should learn in a national level curriculum is not self-evident. Descriptions of “learning outcomes” are increasingly used and have been considered as an important basis for the quality of science education. However, there are variations in the descriptions and also whether they are written as a form of teacher behaviour or as a form of student learning. For example, in the UK the descriptions in the beginning of 1990 in the National Curriculum were written in the form of what students should learn. But the policy has changed and the new curriculum will describe what topics a teacher should introduce to students.
In Europe, the Bologna Process has put the focus on learning outcomes in terms of this concept being a “common language” to describe the curricula in countries throughout the world. The general idea behind transforming the educational aims into the form of learning outcomes is to enhance transparency and accountability of learning outcomes, and to increase the quality of learning. Moreover, the description of learning outcomes of a learning sequence is assumed to enable learners to have an active role in the learning process alongside their teachers. Learning outcomes are typically described in a way they could be used or modified for assessment criteria and for designing items for national level external examinations. Therefore, use of learning outcomes has a direct link to teacher and national level assessment.
Several countries, like the UK, Germany and Finland, are preparing or are planning to prepare in the near future national level curricula. It will be interesting to follow how different demands, like quality assurance, EU harmonising policy, research on teaching, learning and assessment, are realised in 2010 or 2020 curricula.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstracted.php?level=5&icid=939730
Refereed DesignationRefereed