Influence of science instruction reform on academic performance of eighth grade students in Chinese inner-Mongolia autonomous region

Su Gao, Jian Wang, Zhiyong Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Chinese government has implemented centralised science curriculum standards to change science teaching from a didactic to inquiry-based approach to support all students in acquiring science literacy. Framed through theoretical perspectives of inquiry-based instruction and cultural pedagogy, this study examined the influence and impact of these reforms on Chinese science teaching and the performance of 8th grade Chinese students in the Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Regions using instruments developed by TIMSS 2007. It revealed that mixed, lecture-based, more inquiry-based and practice-based science teaching approaches were popularly practiced in classrooms, with the mixed-teaching approach being the most popular. While a mixed approach was positively associated with performance, the frequent practice of a more inquiry-based approach had a significant negative relationship. Neither lecture-based nor practiced-based teaching approaches were found to be related to performance. This finding questions the assumption that inquiry-based science teaching is central to improving the science performance of all students in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-895
Number of pages17
JournalCompare
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018

Keywords

  • Chinese students
  • Inquiry-based instruction
  • science performance

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