Teachers´ challenges with new interdisciplinary science in Denmark
Keywords:Mandatory interdisciplinary science, oral and practical examination, empirical study
In Denmark, a new interdisciplinary agenda has been invented across the science subjects in lower secondary school. Interdisciplinary integration around six major problem-based teaching sequences in grades 7-9 has been made mandatory, and a new interdisciplinary oral end examination has been devised. The new examination format was piloted with volunteering teachers/classes during spring 2016 end examination. The present study captures teacher challenges facing and implementing the new interdisciplinary agenda in its pilot-year, including the end examination. Empirically, we have surveyed interdisciplinary beliefs, attitudes, and related practices amongst a diverse sample of teachers across the sciences (N=94). Further, we have made observations and teacher interviews with nine teachers participating in the 2016-pilotting. Against a generally positive background, we have identified substantial challenges related to teacher beliefs, subject matter knowledge and interdisciplinary self-efficacy, traditional teaching practices, as well as a range of organizational barriers to the implementation of reform intentions.
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