‘I do and I understand?’ Practical work and laboratory use in United Kingdom schools
Rob Toplis 1 * , Michael Allen 1
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1 Brunel University, Uxbridge, UNITED KINGDOM* Corresponding Author


This paper provides a critical review of the changes to the role of practical work in the science curriculum in England over the last forty years. The science curriculum over this period appears to place an emphasis on an approach to practical enquiry that suggests school students can act like ‘real’ scientists. This paper provides a critical perspective of this view as it traces the developments of practical work and draws on the literature and on empirical work about how practical science in the secondary school (ages 11 to 18 years) has been enacted over this time period and gives some suggestions about the current situation and how practical work might develop in the future.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2012, 3-9


Publication date: 12 Jan 2012

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