High School Teachers’ Perceptions Regarding Inquiry-Based Science Curriculum in the United States, Georgia, and Israel

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Intercultural Studies of Curriculum

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This study explores high school science teachers’ perceptions and current practices of inquiry-based science curriculum and the challenges facing teachers in implementing such a curriculum in three different countries—the Georgia, Israel, and the United States—as a means of identifying instructional barriers to implementation that may be hampering widespread adoption. Science is a discipline in which curriculum designers draw topics from a similar database. Teachers’ perception and practices could reflect global trends as well as the unique characteristics of each of the countries. Data for this qualitative study were collected from 15 high school science teachers in each of the three countries using semi-structured interviews. The findings indicate a gap between teachers’ desire and capacity to effectively implement an inquiry-based science curriculum. Common barriers to implementation mentioned by teachers in the three countries included a lack of time, official exams, and class size. Other country-specific reasons included lack of materials in the Georgian language or English language barriers in highly diverse classrooms in the United States. In order to make changes in the curriculum and create more opportunities for implementing an inquiry-based science curriculum, all obstacles identified by teachers should be taken into consideration. Potential interventions could include professional development, mentoring, and developing assessment tools for inquiry-based implementation.