Enactment and Impact of Science Education Reform (EISER)

Since 2006 schools in England have been responding to major changes in the science curriculum for 14-16 year olds. A wider variety of science courses are available with more emphasis on applied science and teaching about socio-scientific issues.

This study examines school responses to this major curriculum reform. A particular focus is teacher enactment of the science curriculum in the classroom. The study is also investigating the initial impact of these reforms on student achievement, attitudes towards science education and participation in post-compulsory science courses.

The study combines nationally representative data, using the National Pupil Database, and in-depth school-based case studies. Data will be collected over a three year period enabling a longitudinal analysis of the developing enactment and impact of these reforms in the initial years. The study will identify any targeting by schools of specific courses on students with particular characteristics and any differential success across courses in terms of student achievement and uptake of post-compulsory science education. The study will also provide a generalised account of factors impacting on student attitudes to school science and their participation in post-compulsory science courses.

Project Publications

Ryder J; Banner I; Homer M (2014) “Teachers' experiences of science curriculum reform”, School Science Review.  95.352:  126-130.

Homer M; Ryder J; Donnelly J (2013) “Sources of differential participation rates in school science: the impact of curriculum reform”, British Educational Research Journal.  39.2:  248-265.

Ryder J; Banner I (2013) “School teachers' experiences of science curriculum reform”, International Journal of Science Education.  35.3:  490-514.

Homer M; Ryder J; Banner I (2013) “Measuring determinants of post-compulsory participation in science: a comparative study using national data”, British Educational Research Journal.

Banner I, Donnelly J, Ryder J (2012) Policy networks and boundary objects: Enacting curriculum reform in the absence of consensus. Journal of Curriculum Studies 44(5):577-598

Homer, M., Ryder, J. and Donnelly, J. (2011) The use of national datasets to baseline science education reform: exploring value-added approaches. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 34(3):309-325.

Donnelly, J., & Ryder, J. (2011). The Pursuit of Humanity: Curriculum Change in English School Science. History of Education, 40(3), pp.291-313.

Ryder, J., & Banner, I. (2011). Multiple aims in the development of a major reform of the national curriculum for science in England. International Journal of Science Education, 33(5), pp.709-725.

Banner, I., Donnelly, J., Homer, M., & Ryder, J. (2010). The impact of recent reforms in the KS4 science curriculum. School Science Review, 92(339), pp. 101-109.