Chemistry teachers as stakeholders of national context-based curriculum reform project
The present paper deals with a national curriculum reform project on modular context-based chemistry teaching in the Netherlands. A main characteristic of the project is the use of a ‘bottom-up’ approach for designing the ‘New Chemistry’ curriculum. A document analysis of project-related reports and empirical studies was carried out. The results showed that chemistry teachers were involved in all phases of the project: analyzing current problems, preparing outlines for renewal, developing context-based modules, and testing a pilot version of the curriculum. Some modular learning pathways were composed as exemplar tools for supporting teachers. Results at the end of the curriculum project showed that positive opinions about modular context-based teaching were expressed by about half of the interviewed teacher-innovators and about one-third of the teacher-followers. Nevertheless, negative opinions were expressed by an important minority of teachers. Implications for empowering teachers for modular context-based chemistry education are discussed.