Curriculum development in integrated science for form one to form three in Mauritius : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University
During the past decade, Integrated Science curricula and courses have mushroomed all over the world. Likewise the Mauritius Integrated Science Project came into existence in 1976. Implied is that this 'new' science course is also a 'better' course. Is it and can it be improved? After retracing the history of Mauritian education and showing how the education system was shackled to the powers that be, mention is made of how the wind of change started blowing over the education system. The birth of M.I.S.P is hailed; its aims and objectives are then discussed. This centres on the meaning of Integrated Science, its composition and where M.I.S.P stands with regard to it. Philosophical concerns for the nature of science, the relevance of science education as well as the social implications of science education,all these concepts are treated at length. It is the thesis of this author that if these three concerns are not taken into consideration in curriculum development work for a science course at primary and secondary education levels, then we would only be scratching the surface. In consequence, an in-depth analysis of the scientific method is called for. How far the M.I.S.P teaching approach diverges from this scientific method is then exposed. Time dichotomy between the process of science and the product of science is fully discussed. It is suggested that school science, based essentially on the product of science, despite teaching approaches to the contrary i.e guided discovery method, will do more harm than good. It is proposed that the process is the all important factor in science education. Learning through science rather than learning Science is upheld to be the goal of science education. Scientific thinking should predominate over scientific knowledge at the level of education under consideration. This is said to have survival value and is viewed as the Education for Tomorrow. Proposal for changes in the structure and contents of M.I.S.P is made. The implementation issue is emphasised, especially in terms of teacher training, and examinations. These two factors are considered essential to the success of M.I.S.P. Otherwise a new orthodoxy will set in.