Teaching Chemistry as a Story Using Narrative Structure as a Framework for Science Education

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Johnny M Winston


For years science curriculum reformers have bemoaned curricula that are “a mile wide and an inch deep.” The tendency for high school science to be “[content]-dominate and textbook centered” leads to science courses bloated with facts and equations at the expense of a deep understanding of science as a process and way of knowing about the world. One reason for the excess of content in US national science standards documents is a reliance on identifying the so-called core ideas of science. Core ideas do not provide constraining factors and so the favorite topic of everyone is included leading to the expanding of science content over the last three decades. Selecting and organizing science content based on a narrative framework suggests a way to constrain and organize content in a way that students, already prone to organizing new information in narrative forms, can more easily manage. This article will lay out the basic structure of the narrative framework and apply it to construct a scope and sequence for the first-year secondary chemistry course.

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Practice / Theoretical