Toward Cross-Cultural Curriculum Development: An Analysis of Science Education in the Philippines, Ghana, and the United States

  • A. C. Vera Cruz
  • P. E. Madden
  • C. K. Asante
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)


Among curriculum theorists and practitioners, the importance and role of the milieus (Schwab, School Rev 81:501–522, 1973) and the culture of a context’s educational system, and the values and beliefs embedded within both, cannot be overstated. It is the reason why a simple uproot-and-plant model of educational policies on a global level not only fails but also is a misguided and potentially harmful approach toward cross-cultural curriculum development. Thus, before curriculum development occurs between two contexts, an analysis of the existing curricula within both partners’ local educational systems is necessary in order to avoid localizing the “globalized”, Western practice. This book chapter will leverage a comparative curriculum analysis of science education between the Philippines, Ghana, and the United States to illuminate a potential model for engaging in anti-hegemonic, cross-cultural curriculum development. Curricula and standards that are required by the government were juxtaposed with the purposes of science education, as manifested within national policies on science education, in order to gain a deep understanding of how each context defines it, as well as the corresponding processes of implementation and evaluation. This comparison utilizes anthropological methods as well as curriculum theory to understand what each educational system values and how its respective educational system operates to reflect them.

Results of the analyses indicate that (1) notions of science education as well as its purposes are subjective; (2) the content of science education between countries is very similar; and (3) the intended delivery and implementation of educational experiences and its evaluation are tied to language and culture.

With this analysis, a model for anti-hegemonic, cross-cultural curriculum development (Vera Cruz forthcoming), which utilizes Ricoeur’s (2007) philosophy of translation, intercultural dialogue (de Sousa Santos 2008), as well as Posner’s (Analyzing the curriculum. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004) framework for analyzing curriculum, will help illuminate a novel onto-epistemological curriculum development framework for working collaboratively within an international context defined by power asymmetries.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Vera Cruz
    • 1
  • P. E. Madden
    • 1
  • C. K. Asante
    • 1
  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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