Summary In 1981 a new curriculum development project, Science in Society, was published by the Association for Science Education. It has been widely praised and a growing number of teachers are using the material in their teaching. There have been, however, a number of criticisms about the restricted definition of the topic area and about bias in the curriculum material available. This article briefly describes the project and the context in which the project was developed. It is argued that many of the aspects of the course that have been criticised can be understood through an examination of the largely unquestioned assumptions prevalent in school science teaching at the time of the inception of the project.
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