Life Science Standards and High School Textbooks in the United States and People’s Republic of China

  • This study adapted the Analyzing Instructional Materials (AIM) process for assessing the coherence (focus and rigor) of science instructional materials.
  • The adapted AIM process was used to analyze two secondary-level biology programs from both China and the United States—one from each country developed before, and one each developed after, adoption of national standards.
  • The adapted process was sensitive enough to distinguish programs based on their focus and rigor; furthermore, the post-standards programs in both countries obtained higher focus and rigor scores than the pre-standards programs, as predicted.
  • The adapted AIM process appears to be a promising method for evaluating the coherence of instructional materials.
  • A 2009 report by BSCS Science Educator April L. Gardner, BSCS Former Executive Director Rodger Bybee, and Liu Enshan of Beijing Normal University.

As a way of examining the influence of national standards on the content included in textbooks, the authors of this report compared the table of contents in two United States and two Chinese textbooks with their respective national standards.

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This report was presented at the following conferences:

  1. Biology Programs in the People’s Republic of China and the United States
    National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference
    Albuquerque, NM
    October 2006
    Presenters: BSCS Science Educator April L. Gardner with collaboration from Liu Enshan of Beijing Normal University and Bruce Fuchs of National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education
  2. A Process for Analyzing Coherence in Science Instructional Materials
    American Education Research Association Annual Meeting
    Denver, CO
    May 2010
    Presenters: BSCS Science Educator April L. Gardner with collaboration from BSCS Associate Director Joseph Taylor, BSCS Former Executive Director Rodger Bybee, and Liu Enshan of Beijing Normal University