Date: 23 Nov 2011

An International Perspective on Science Curriculum Development and Implementation

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Because many so-called developing nations see science as a key tool for economic development, much emphasis has been placed on enhancing science education in developing countries. Typically, this has consisted of importation of Western notions of science education (such as a learner-centred curriculum), and, in some cases, direct import of foreign science curricula – often those of the prior colonial power. Here we argue that science curriculum development in developed countries has frequently failed to take into account the importance of local context. We propose that science curriculum development in developed countries should be needs-based, built upon evaluation of past local experiences, and maintain coherence between curriculum aims and the assessment regime. Such a process, we suggest, requires a long time, as well as substantive, ongoing professional development.