Nuffield Secondary Science
Nuffield Secondary Science in the 1960s was a response to the need to improve the teaching of science for the three-quarters of secondary students who were then unlikely to be entered for GCE O-level. The project team aimed to put into practice the approach to science teaching outlined in the Newsom Report, Half Our Future. This approach was set out in more detail in School Council Working Paper No. 1, Science for the Young School Leaver.
The significance test
The essence of the approach was that the science studied should have significance to students. This meant that the project team only included ideas and activities which could be shown either:
- to have intrinsic significance to students, or
- to be concerned with matters of importance in the adult world.
An emphasis on practical activity
Like other Nuffield Foundation science projects in that era, the resources encouraged hands-on experimental work by students. However, unlike the Nuffield O-level courses, there was much less emphasis on the theoretical structures of science.
A resource not a course
Secondary Science was not planned as a course. The project produced a large bank of ideas and resources grouped into eight Themes from which teachers could select to construct their own courses.