On the Status Quo of General Relativity in School Curricula
Ute Kraus and Corvin Zahn
With contributions by Lisa Büssing, Stuart Farmer, Lorenzo Galante, Fadeel Joubran, Magdalena Kersting, Gerd Kortemeyer, Richard Meagher, Alina Neumann, Joao Pereira.
I) Overview
Is general relativity mentioned in the curriculum of this country?
Country 
yes 
no 
remarks 
Data as at 
Australia 

x 

08/2020 
Austria 
x 


08/2020 
Belgium 

x 
Flanders: no, other regions? 
09/2017 
Brazil 
x 

Rio de Janeiro: yes, other regions? 
07/2017 
Canada 
x 

Ontario: yes, other provinces: no 
08/2020 
Czech Republic 

x 

09/2017 
Denmark 

x 

08/2020 
Estonia 
x 


08/2020 
Finland 

x 

07/2017 
Germany 
x 

4 out of 16 states: yes, others: no 
08/2020 
Hongkong 

x 

08/2020 
Ireland 

x 

08/2020 
Italy 

x 

02/2019 
Israel 

x 

02/2019 
Latvia 

x 

08/2020 
Luxembourg 

x 

08/2020 
Malta 

x 

08/2020 
Netherlands 

x 

08/2020 
New Zealand 

x 

08/2020 
Norway 
x 


07/2017 
Singapore 

x 

08/2020 
Sweden 
x 


08/2020 
Switzerland 
x 

in some cantons, in some schools 
2018 
Turkey 
x 


09/2017 
UK 
x 

Scotland: yes, England, Wales: no 
08/2020 
USA 
x 

federal curriculum: no, some school curricula: yes 
2017 
GR in the curriculum: dark green  yes, light green  partly, orange  no
II) Content
country 
curriculum on GR 
remarks 
Data as at 
Austria 
National curriculum: basic concepts of general relativity. From implementation by different teachers: equivalence principle, clocks and rulers in a gravitational field, curvature of space, gravitational lenses, gravitational waves and LIGO, black holes, effect on GPS, nonEuclidean geometry 

08/2020 
Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) 
Recognize the present models of the universe (stellar evolution, black holes, curved space and big bang) 
Ensino Medio, age 15 
07/2017 
Estonia 
Equivalence principle, gravitational interaction described through bending spacetime, cosmology 
required / optional subject 
08/2020 
Canada (Ontario) 
Theory of general relativity 
age 1718 
08/2020 
Germany (Bremen) 
Equivalence principle, experimental tests (precession of the perihelion of Mercury, light deflection near the sun, gravitational redshift) 
advanced level, ages 1617 
12/2017 
Germany (North RhineWestfalia) 
Basic statements of GR: gravitational time dilation, equivalence principle, gravitation and time measurement (describe qualitatively); gravitation, time measurement and curvature of space (illustrate using models and graphics); impact on physical world view 
advanced level, ages 1617 
12/2017 
Germany (Saarland) 
Reference to GR as theory of gravitation and to its significance for astrophysics and cosmology 
age 16 
12/2017 
Germany (Saxony) 
Evidence for the impact of gravitation on light: reference to GR, gravitation and curved spacetime, experiments with atomic clocks, black holes in the universe 
standard level, age 16 
12/2017 

Selected aspects of GR: gravitation and curved spacetime, experiments with atomic clocks, black holes in the universe, big bang theory 
advanced level, age 16 
12/2017 
Norway 
… give a qualitative description of general relativity 
upper secondary school 
07/2017 
Sweden 
… an introduction to the general theory of relativity 

08/2017 
Switzerland 
Basic principles of general relativity. // Basic principles of general relativity, experimental tests. // The students know ideas and basic concepts of general relativity in a qualitative way. // The students are given a short, qualitative insight into general relativity. // The students can explain the concept of spatial curvature using a simple example. // The students can state the limited field of application of special relativity and fundamental principles of general relativity using a simple example. 
From individual cantonal and school curricula 
2018 
Turkey 
Big Bang, Cosmological models 

09/2017 
UK (Scotland) 
Knowledge that special relativity deals with motion in inertial (nonaccelerating) frames of reference and that general relativity deals with motion in noninertial (accelerating) frames of reference.  Statement of the equivalence principle (that it is not possible to distinguish between the effects on an observer of a uniform gravitational field and of a constant acceleration) and awareness of its consequences.  Consideration of spacetime as a representation of four dimensional space.  Knowledge that light or a freely moving object follows a geodesic (the shortest distance between two points) in spacetime.  Knowledge that GR leads to the interpretation that mass curves spacetime, and that gravity arises from the curvature of spacetime.  Representation of World lines for objects which are stationary, moving with constant velocity and accelerating.  Use of an appropriate relationship to solve problems relating to the Schwarzschild radius of a black hole.  Knowledge that time appears to be frozen at the event horizon of a black hole. 
Advanced Higher Physics, ages 1718 
02/2019 