ERRR #011. Sharon Chen on International Comparisons of Inquiry Teaching

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Professor Sharon Chen received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University and is now Professor of Education at the National Taiwan Normal University. She also currently serves as the Convener oin the Discipline of Education for the Department of Humanity and Social Science at the Ministry of Science and Technology (1/2015-12/2017).
Professor Chen actively participates in many academic activities and serves at the editorial board of TSSCI journal/s. She receives research funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology every year and has received numerous NSC Annual Research Awards. In recent years she has also been in charge of policy related projects funded by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. Sharon has studied, taught, and written widely in three principal areas of: curriculum reform issues, qualitative research methodology, and teacher professional development. In 2009 she received the NTNU Outstanding Teacher Award and in 2012 the NTNU Distinguished Professorship Award.

We discussed two of Sharon’s papers in this episode of the ERRR. The first, entitled Implications for Cross-Cultural Comparative Studies of Teaching and Learning, discusses the usual forms that cross-cultural studies take, and how some of Sharon’s research has differed. We spent the majority of the interview discussion the second of Sharon’s papers which was entitled Inquiry Teaching and Learning: Forms, Approaches, and Embedded Views Within and Across Cultures. In this second paper Sharon compared the approach of three primary classrooms to teaching science by inquiry, contrasting classrooms from Germany, Taiwan, and Australia.

Reading these papers, as well as doing some classroom visits in Taiwan really challenged some of my pre-conceived ideas about what the word ‘inquiry’ can mean in science education, and to complement this podcast I’m currently also working on a blog post about my changing understanding of of this term, so watch out at for that one.

In other recent and exciting news, Cameron Malcher from the Teachers’ Education Review podcast has just set up AEON, the Australian Educator’s Online Network as one step shop for Aussie educators to find a whole host of Australian based education podcasts all in on place. Check out for more info.

Links mentioned during the interview