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Comparative Didactics and Teaching Traditions in Science Education in Switzerland, Sweden and France
University of Geneva.
Université de Toulouse 2 - Le Mirail.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss similarities and differences between the curricula in Science Education in Sweden, France and Switzerland in order to provide the background of future analyses of actual classroom practices in these countries that we will perform in the next stage of our project (Almqvist, 2012). Ligozat (2011) showed that the logics of the classroom actions in teaching mathematics rely upon certain pedagogical/ideological pre-constructs and teaching habits, that can be partially related to curriculum texts and teaching materials. Östman (1996) found three different teaching traditions in Science Education from Swedish textbooks analyses: the academic tradition spreads the idea that the mere products and methods of science are worth to be taught. The applied tradition focuses on explanations about usual technical objects and to increase the students’ autonomy in their everyday life. The moral tradition opens up to the relationship between science and society and makes students think about the decisions that they will have to make as future citizens. The goal of this paper is to identify how much space each of these traditions takes up within the curriculum texts of the three countries. In this regard, our analyses take into account the following dimensions: 1) The goals of science education as presented in the global recommendations of the curricula; 2) The organization and division of the content itself. 3) The learning outcomes expected from the students in terms of concepts, skills and/or scientific literacy requirements (Venturini & Tiberghien, 2012) and 4) the teaching methods expected from the teacher. Through all these criteria, it is possible to identify certain teaching traditions in the French, Western Swiss and Swedish curricula. Indeed, we could notice that the academic tradition is rather strongly embedded in the three cases, whereas the applied and the moral traditions are present in a more obvious way in the Swedish Curriculum.


Almqvist, J. (2012). Teaching traditions and learning. Comparative didactic analysis of science education and physical education and health in Sweden, Switzerland and France -. Project funded by the Swedish Research Council (2013-2018).Ligozat, F. (2011). The Determinants of the Joint Action in Didactics: the Text-Action Relationship in Teaching Practice. In B. Hudson & M. A. Meyer (Éd.), Beyond fragmentation: Didactics, Learning and Teaching in Europe (p. 157 176). Opladen & Farmington Hills MI: Barbara Budrich Publishers.Östman, L. (1996). Discourses, discursive meanings and socialization in chemistry education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28(1), 37 55. Venturini, P., & Tiberghien, A. (2012). Potential Learning Outcomes Inferred from French Curricula in Science Education. In S. Bernholt, K. Neumann, & P. Nentwig (Eds.), Making It Tangible - Learning Outcomes in Science Education (pp. 475–509). Münster: Waxmann.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Comparative didactics, Physical Education, Science Education
National Category
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270837OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270837DiVA: diva2:890647
ECER, 8-11 September, 2015 in Budapest
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-01-04

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