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The Evolution of Cultural Entities$
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Michael Wheeler, John Ziman, and Margaret A. Boden

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262627

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262627.001.0001

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The Evolution of Education: Change and Reform

The Evolution of Education: Change and Reform

(p.183) The Evolution of Education: Change and Reform
The Evolution of Cultural Entities

Joan Solomon

British Academy

This chapter focuses on education and the courses it considers cultural entities. Using three different evolutionary analogies, it explains how education can emerge, evolve or change in response to external factors. The emphasis is on the emergence of Science, Technology and Society (STS) courses in tertiary and secondary education in Britain. The discussion begins by focusing on education as a cultural artefact and how educational change is influenced by culture. The chapter then examines the phases of deevelopment of the STS curriculum in British education and the application of evolutionary thinking to the major trends in educational reform that have affected Britain and other countries during the last century, citing some of the later writings by Donald Campbell. It also highlights the imporance of identifying both the organisms whose evolution was being tampered with, and the ‘habitat’ in which they had to exist, in order to understand the extreme and damaging educational changes of the 1990s in Britain. Finally, it considers trends in STS education in the post-Thatcher era.

Keywords:   education, Science, Technology and Society, Britain, educational change, culture, educational reform, Donald Campbell, evolution, curriculum

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