Whose voice is it anyway? Narrative perspectives within the Scottish and Swedish Science curricula

Jakob Billmayer*, Stephen P. Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This study explores the form of curriculum documents and its implications for the enacted curriculum. In this study, the narrative voices that appear in the Scottish Broad General Education phase and the Swedish Compulsory phase of the curriculum are scrutinized in relation to the most likely reader of these documents - the teacher. The study adopts a critical hermeneutic approach to documents relating to the Swedish and Scottish Science curricula, focusing on the primary and lower secondary school phase of education. In addition, the analysis utilised the concepts and categories from narratology as an analytical framework that illuminates the emerging narrative voices in the curriculum documents. Both countries are similar in terms of “the teacher” not appearing in a prominent role but differ in terms of how teachers are framed from a narratological perspective. While the Swedish science curriculum appears to be a very rudimentary narrative, resembling “stage directions” for teachers’ activity, the Scottish science curriculum contains a variety of different narrative voices, although none of these puts the teacher in an active, autonomous or decision-making position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number1
Early online date7 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • curriculum studies
  • narratology
  • science curriculum
  • Scotland
  • Sweden


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