Exploiting Curriculum Commonality in Small Island States: Some Strategies for Primary Science Curriculum Development in the South Pacific

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Abstract

Improving primary science education in the small, developing island nations of the South Pacific is of increasing importance if these countries are to improve the quality of life of their citizens and achieve sustainable economic growth. The education systems in the South Pacific are commonly legacies of old colonial powers and are dominated by external summative examinations that drive a teacher-dominated didactic pedagogy. Changing this situation is likely to be a long-term issue. However, in the short to medium term science education at the primary level would likely benefit from some strategies that are achievable, sustainable and relatively inexpensive when compared with many aid-funded projects. The authors propose a regional approach to curriculum development and the employment of simple readers to deliver science concepts to students through literacy as a means of improving the current situation.