Scientific Literacy Themes Coverage in the Nigerian Senior School Chemistry Curriculum
The current reforms in science education around the world emphasize science for all, with the ultimate goal of achieving scientific literacy. These reform initiatives provide platforms for re-designing coherent science curricula that could serve as resources for scientific literacy, and consequently, contribute to the development of scientifically literate citizens–who will be able to use scientific knowledge in their daily decision-making processes and other socio-scientific issues. This study, therefore, investigated the coverage of scientific literacy themes in the Nigerian senior school chemistry curriculum and examination questions. A framework developed by Chiappetta, Fillman and Sethna (1991) was adopted to analyze aspects of the curriculum and examination questions. The results revealed that the chemistry curriculum placed more emphasis on the knowledge of science and investigative nature of science. The examination questions mostly stressed investigative nature of science and science as a way of thinking. The interaction of science, technology and society was sparingly represented in the curriculum and the theory component of the examination questions, and almost absent in the practical questions. While the chemistry materials may have a prospect to contribute to the preparation of scientifically literate citizens, a re-adjustment to the structure of the chemistry curriculum and examination questions could provide a balance of the scientific literacy themes in chemistry materials.