Forensic Science Education: Inquiry into Current Tertiary Forensic Science Courses

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Samarji, Ahmad Nabil (2012) Forensic Science Education: Inquiry into Current Tertiary Forensic Science Courses. Forensic Science Policy and Management: An International Journal, 3 (1). pp. 24-36. ISSN 1940-9044 (print) 1940-9036 (online)


Over the past two decades, the field of forensic science has experienced a remarkable development, immense mass media focus, and a substantially enhanced public profile. Consequently, forensic science education has been characterized by a rapid expansion in both the number of forensic science courses and the number of students enrolling in such courses. Despite the concerns such rapid expansion has created, very little remains published on forensic science education and on the curricular and pedagogical approaches adopted in forensic science courses. This article aims to generate a deep understanding about the current status of forensic science education in academia and the curricular and pedagogical frameworks adopted in forensic science courses. In order to fulfill this aim, a document analysis of 190 forensic science courses offered worldwide was conducted. Document analysis generated understandings of and insights into the way higher education institutes organize forensic science education, transmit forensic science knowledge, and liaise with the forensic science industry. This article examines current forensic science courses from a three-lens view of knowledge, practice, and identity. The article finds that the rapid expansion in forensic science education has attracted both “authentic” and “inauthentic” investments. “Authentic” forensic science courses are courses that truly emphasize forensic science knowledge, connect to forensic science practice, and reflect forensic science identity. On the other hand, “inauthentic” courses were identified when such courses failed to represent forensic science knowledge, practice, and identity. The article concludes that the current state of forensic science education sets off an alarm for the forensic science community about the future of forensic science and its education.

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Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords ResPubID25978, forensic science education, tertiary education, higher education, knowledge base
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