An approach resulting in a deliberated elaboration of the concept animal according to the concept-context approach in Dutch primary science education.
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Recently, developments in Dutch biology education led to a conceptual framework for primary science education in which the concept-context approach holds a central position. The framework includes combinations of concepts and contexts. This study describes how choices can be made in the selection of concepts of the framework to include in the curriculum and which guidelines can be followed. The focus lies on the concept animal. It is aimed to arrive at an elaboration of the concept animal in terms of underlying and related concepts for primary science education. Especially guidelines were collected to justify choices for including certain concepts in the curriculum over others. Primary teacher educators for science education and primary school students along a range of ages (4, 8, and 12 years old) were interviewed, alongside an analysis of methods for primary science education and a questionnaire to experts were carried out. This was done in order to identify guidelines, underlying concepts and/or everyday life contexts interesting for primary school students. With this two example elaborations for different age categories were made and subsequently presented, along with the found guidelines, to experts during a focus group discussion to discuss it on possibilities and limitations. The findings revealed that various guidelines can be used. Ultimately, three cornerstones (context, subject and didactics) should be taken into account when selecting concepts. To elaborate the concept animal, a suggested procedure, in which the interaction between selecting concepts and contexts is central, can be used. This might be a further step to translate the concept-context approach to the educational practice in primary science education.