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See detailThe Gateway Science: a Review of Astronomy in the OECD School Curricula, Including China and South Africa
Salimpoura, Saeed; Bartlett, Sophie; Fitzgerald, Michael T. et al

in Research in Science Education (2020)

Astronomy is considered by many to be a gateway science owing to its ability to inspire curiosity in everyone irrespective of age, culture or general inclination to science. While the inclusion of ... [more ▼]

Astronomy is considered by many to be a gateway science owing to its ability to inspire curiosity in everyone irrespective of age, culture or general inclination to science. While the inclusion of astronomy in the school curriculum has waxed and waned over the years, in the current era, where there is a global push to get more students engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), astronomy provides an invaluable conduit to bring about this shift. This paper highlights the results of a study which has reviewed the presence and extent to which astronomy has been incorporated into the school curriculum of the Organisation for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) member countries as well as two non-OECD countries strong in astronomy research, China and South Africa, and one international curriculum, the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. A total of 52 national curricula from 37 countries were reviewed. The results revealed that overall astronomy and its related topics are prevalent in at least one grade in all curricula across the OECD, China and South Africa. Of the 52 national curricula, 44 of them had astronomy related topics in grade 6. Out of the 52 national curricula, 40 introduced astronomy-related topics in grade 1, while 14 of them had astronomy-related topics explicitly mentioned in all grades. The most common keywords were related to basic astronomy concepts, such as the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars, all have occurrences of over 100. Relational textual analysis also revealed that all the major concepts could be encompassed across two broad themes of Earth and Physics. [less ▲]

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