Queensland schools are currently teaching with the first National Curriculum for Australia. This new curriculum was one of a number of political responses to address the recurring low scores in literacy, mathematics, and science that continue to hold Australia in poor international rankings. Teachers have spent 2 years getting to know the new science curriculum through meetings, training, and exploring the new Australian curriculum documents. This article examines the support and preparation for implementation provided in two regional schools, with a closer look at six specific teachers and their science teaching practices as they attempted to implement the new science curriculum. The use of a survey, field observations, and interviews revealed the schools’ preparation practices and the teachers’ practices, including the support provided to implement the new science curriculum. A description and analysis of school support and preparation as well as teachers’ views of their experiences implementing the new science curriculum reveal both achievements and shortcomings. Problematic issues for the two schools and teachers include time to read and comprehend the curriculum documents and content expectations as well as time to train and change the current processes effectively. The case teachers’ experiences reveal implications for the successful and effective implementation of new curriculum and curriculum reform.
Research in Science Education / Vol. 45, pp.841-866