Science Curriculum: A Global Perspective

First-hand experiences about science teaching in seven countries.

Science education is a worldwide community of teachers and researchers, and is an active force in the socio-political, educational and economic dynamics of most countries.  Researchers have documented that science education reform is a worldwide trend, and have identified several forces that have impacted these improvement efforts. Reform has been influenced by: constructivist views on learning, cross-national studies of student learning, globalization, and advances in science, technology and information technology.  Social constructivism, perhaps more than any other construct, has influenced the development and design of curriculum experiences in most countries over the past several decades. Computers, satellites, FAX machines, telephones and television bring educators together from countries as far apart as Australia and Turkey.  Cross-national testing, especially through the efforts of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and The Relevance of Science Education Project (ROSE) has influenced awareness of science education around the world.

What is the Education of students in other countries? When do students begin studying science? What is the nature of the science curriculum?

We asked colleagues from several countries to write brief descriptions of the curriculum and teaching issues in Australia, Chile, China, Ghana, Japan, Russia and Turkey. As science educators, we are members of a community of practice that is worldwide. What are the issues in other countries, and how do these help inform us about our own issues?  The authors of these international pieces have based their writing on personal experiences with the culture. In most cases the authors were born, educated and taught in the country they describe.

Source: The text for this site is from Hassard, Jack & Dias, Michael. (2009) The Art of Teaching Science: Inquiry and Innovation in Middle School and High School, 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge, 201 - 216.