Friday, 7 March 2014

No plate tectonics in GCSE Science? Please help!

The new draft for the Science KS4 (GCSE) curriculum contains no plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is included in the KS3 (11 - 14 year-olds) Geography curriculum but only as the explanation for a number of geographical phenomena worldwide and not as a process that should be scientifically investigated and understood in its own right. A scientific understanding of plate tectonics provides the ‘unifying theory’ which pulls rock cycle processes, together with other global processes, into an understanding of the whole Earth machine. Thus plate tectonics provides a holistic understanding of Earth processes and the scientific principles that underpin them, forming the basis of an understanding of the Earth as dynamic complex and interacting systems.
Only through studying this and its underpinning scientific principles, can a proper understanding be gained of the elements of Earth science currently included in both the National Curriculum science at KS3 and the draft KS4 curriculum. Since plate tectonic theory is so central to Earth science understanding, it is not surprising that it has formed a key part of the science curriculum until now.
Please can you help to reverse this current proposal of excluding plate tectonic theory from the new GCSE Science National Curriculum by writing to your MPs and generally lobbying anyone who might influence the situation.

1 comment:

Steve said...

This is a retrograde step. I worked with the Association of Teachers of Geology back in the eighties(?) to get geology moved from the Geography Committee to the Science Committee of the Schools' Curriculum Council. It is the only true integrated science which requires a knowledge of chemistry, physics and mathematics and plate tectonics is the unifying concept that makes sense of geology. Remove plate tectonics and you undermine the