Interest in Science: A Comparative Analysis of the Aims of School Science Syllabi

Davis Jean Baptiste, David H. Palmer, Jennifer Archer


There is currently worldwide concern about the decline in students’ interest in science. The purpose of this paper is to examine school science curriculum documents to determine whether they explicitly state that they aim to enhance student interest in science. A document analysis was used to compare science syllabi from Canada, Finland, Sweden, UK, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, the Eastern Caribbean states, and Hungary. It was found that about half of these countries did have an explicit aim of enhancing student interest in science at high school level. The remainder either did not have any such aim, or had a partial or implied expectation. These findings were then compared to the results of the international PISA 2006 survey of student interest in science. It was found that those countries in which science curriculum documents made no mention about enhancing student interest (Canada and UK) were below the OECD average for interest in science. However, there were other countries below the OECD average, that did have a curriculum aim to enhance student interest in science. It is concluded that having a stated aim to enhance student interest in science is not enough, by itself, to bring that aim to fruition.

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Global Journal of Educational Studies  ISSN 2377-3936


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