Project Details Design for International Standards for Chemistry Education (ISCE)

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 July 2013
End Date:


In this global age, developing chemistry literacy should involve students increasing their knowledge and skills in chemistry, not only to reach high standards, but also to be able to understand and take part in a global trend of chemistry literacy, to know what chemistry contributes to our lives, and to be motivated to learn chemistry with local and global relevance.

The purpose of this proposal is to identify and specify the chemistry literacy that elementary and secondary school students need to develop during their school years (K-12).

The possible topics to be included for consideration are key content knowledge and practices, as well as related competencies (such as attitudes toward chemistry, communication using chemistry symbols and language, critical thinking and creativity, and commitment to personal and societal values) to be learned as a global citizen.

Others like explicit consideration of how chemical and structural information to be communicated and presented and knowledge in relation to health and safety issues will be taken into consideration. We believe a modern chemistry education should also include sufficient background on this to allow citizens to engage with and perhaps critically assess chemical health and safety information that they might meet on a daily basis.


The aims of this project are as follows.

  • To construct a database of chemistry curriculum standards in different countries (such as Australia, Chile, Germany, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, Turkey, USA);
  • To collect exemplar teaching materials (such as inquiry-based approaches, chemistry in context, models and modeling, hands-on activities, prediction-observation-explanation, etc.) according to the standards;
  • To collect appropriate assessment items or activities for the materials addressed above;
  • To share the teaching resources and assessments via website and other cloud facilities.
  • To collect relevant research sources for chemistry teachers

Outcomes will include a web-based database of teaching materials and assessments that could promote teachers professional development and enhance students scientific literacy.

The 1st year of the project will be:

  • To setup the platform for uploading curriculum standards/guidelines from different countries
  • To translate into English (or/and other languages) and upload the standards from different countries
  • To analyze the textbooks developed on the basis of standards focused on a specific subject, like the introduction of the molecular model, or the atomic model (such as sequences for teaching a specific concept like atomic models and gas particles).
  • To conduct international comparisons of standards.

The project group will (a) Collect and review the curriculum standards for chemistry in different countries; (b) Draft and Develop International Chemistry Education Standards; (c) Recommend teaching and assessment materials for sustainability purpose; (d) Meet at the 44th IUPAC GA and 22nd ICCE to discuss the progress and challenges of the project; and (e) Finalize and validate the document.

References for Standards for Science Education

Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing?

National Science Education Standards (1996).

National Research Council (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas.

Achieve, Inc. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards

Waddington, D. J., Nentwig, P., and Schanze, S. (Eds.), Making it comparable: Standards in Science Education. Waxmann: Munster/ New York/ Munchen/ Berlin.

Risch, B. (Ed.). Chemistry in the world. Waxmann. Munster/ New York/ Munchen/ Berlin.

Bernholt, S., Neumann, K., & Nentwig, P. (2012). Making it tangible: Learning Outcomes in Science Education, Waxmann: Munster/ New York/ Munchen/ Berlin.


Nov 2015 update – A database platform is being developed to upload and download curriculum and guidelines from different countries. See

Jan 2018 update – A report is under preparation and a review will be presented at the 25th ICCE in July 2018.

Page last updated: 10 Jan 2018