HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 20 no. 2 (2011)

Editorial: Research About Science Learning in Asian Countries

Chin-chung Tsai

Discipline: Education, Learning



From the results of past international science achievement tests such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), many students from certain Asia-Pacific countries (e.g., Taiwan, Korea, China, and Singapore) are known to have high abilities in science and mathematics. Nevertheless, a recent Organization For Economic Co-Operation And Development (OECD) report about the PISA 2006 test shows that although numerous Asian students in certain countries demonstrated high science and mathematics abilities, their interests and motivation in learning science as well as their tendencies to pursue future careers in science were not as high as their performance would suggest (OECD, 2007). While it is suggested by educational studies that the higher students’ interest and motivation, the better their school performance will be (Pintrich & Schunk, 2002), these PISA findings suggest that cultural or social factors also mediate the correlation between performance and intention in learning science. However in the literature, studies about the cultural and/or social impacts on science learning, though well recognized among educational researchers, are in short supply. Thus, there is an urge for more related studies to be conducted in the Eastern part of the world.