Liang Yuan - IJSE 2008

Examining the Alignment of Chinese National Physics Curriculum Guidelines and 12th-grade Exit Examinations: A case study
International Journal of Science Education, Volume 30, Issue 13 October 2008 , pages 1823 - 1835

Ling L. Liang; Haiquan Yuan

This study reports findings from an analysis of the 2002 Chinese National Physics Curriculum Guidelines and the alignment between the curriculum guidelines and two most recent provincial-level 12th-grade exit examinations in China. Both curriculum guidelines and test content were represented using two-dimensional matrices (i.e., topic by level of cognitive demands) and the Porter's alignment indices were reported. It appeared that the curriculum documents and the standardized examinations mostly emphasized student understanding of fundamental principles and concepts of physics. Moreover, the two examinations consistently over-represented the curriculum at both application and analysis cognitive levels. The study also indicated that neither the organization of the current curriculum guidelines nor the exit assessments encourage creativity, critical thinking, and the development of students' abilities to conduct scientific inquiry. The findings of this study can be used for comparative studies of different countries' science curriculum standards and assessment systems, and can provide insights into the improvement of science education from an international perspective.