Promoting science and technology in primary education: a review of integrated curricula

Rens Gresnigt*, Ruurd Taconis, J. van Keulen, Koeno Gravemeijer, Liesbeth Baartman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Integrated curricula seem promising for the increase of attention on science and technology in primary education. A clear picture of the advantages and disadvantages of integration efforts could help curriculum innovation. This review has focused on integrated curricula in primary education from 1994 to 2011. The integrated curricula were categorised according to a taxonomy of integration types synthesised from the literature. The characteristics that we deemed important were related to learning outcomes and success/fail factors. A focus group was formed to facilitate the process of analysis and to test tentative conclusions. We concluded that the levels in our taxonomy were linked to (a) student knowledge and skills, the enthusiasm generated among students and teachers, and the teacher commitment that was generated; and (b) the teacher commitment needed, the duration of the innovation effort, the volume and comprehensiveness of required teacher professional development, the necessary teacher support and the effort needed to overcome tensions with standard curricula. Almost all projects were effective in increasing the time spent on science at school. Our model resolves Czerniac’s definition problem of integrating curricula in a productive manner, and it forms a practical basis for decision-making by making clear what is needed and what output can be expected when plans are being formulated to implement integrated education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages40
JournalStudies in Science Education
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • integrated curricula; science; technology; implementation; primary education; elementary education


Dive into the research topics of 'Promoting science and technology in primary education: a review of integrated curricula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this