New curriculum towards Big ideas in science education

Helena Thuneberg, Hannu Salmi, Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen, Ninja Hienonen, Jarkko Hautamäki

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This study responds to the demands of the rapidly changing landscape of education, the 21st century competencies and development of curriculum. Those competences are being interpreted all over the world resulting to differing curricular changes. In the Finnish National Core Curriculum 2016 they are presented as seven transversal competences that guide all subject-specific instruction and must also be addressed through multidisciplinary learning modules. Our analysis aims to connect the relevant curriculum theory and new perspectives to everyday school practices. The perspective is that of the teacher education students: how the student teachers experience the demands and possibilities of the new national curriculum. A science teaching/learning module for promoting the Big ideas of Science education was introduced to them in an out-of-school environment. The results show how confident the student teachers (N = 108) were when facing the challenge of integrating the competences into teaching. The future use of this type of pedagogy was predicted by the Structural Equation path model. The results show that in general integration of the competences was not experienced as hard, but it was more challenging to figure out how to fit them into the daily school routines and timetables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-460
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 21st century competences
  • Big ideas of Science education
  • new curriculum
  • out-of-school education
  • Teacher education

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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