NYU Steinhardt has received a four-month, $721,000 grant from the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education to assess newly implemented math and science curricula in Mexico’s secondary schools.
The project will be headed by Pamela Fraser-Abder, an associate professor of science education, who has served as a consultant on primary science teacher education for UNESCO and the Commonwealth Secretariat and whose publications include Professional Development of Science Teachers: Local Insights with Lessons for the Global Community.
In 2009, the Mexican government implemented new math and science curricula with the aim of bolstering the country’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores. PISA assesses math, science, and reading literacy, along with problem solving, of 15-year olds in more than 70 countries, including the United States.
Under the grant, researchers at Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning will evaluate the math and science curricula and curricula standards to determine if they have the necessary components to improve PISA scores.
In doing so, they will compare the Mexican curricula with those in the U.S. and leading countries in PISA test results throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The study will also consider student and teacher perspectives on the new curricula informed by a summer institute conducted with over 300 secondary students in New York City.
The Organization of Ibero-American States for Education (OEI), an intergovernmental organization primarily comprised of the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations of America and Europe, aims to advance the fields of education, science, technology, and culture in these countries.
(Photo: Escuela Secundaria Técnica Número 43, one of the best-performing middle schools in Mexico City.)