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Status of integrated science instruction in junior secondary schools in China: An exploratory study
Integrated science curriculum
Classroom observation
Science teachers
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Sun, D., Wang, Z. H., Xie, W. T., & Boon, C. C. (2014). Status of integrated science instruction in junior secondary schools of China: An exploratory study. International Journal of Science Education, 36(5), 808-838.
Integrated science curriculum has been implemented in the junior secondary level in China for two decades. However, the implementation of the integrated science curriculum is behind expectation in most provinces. Various challenges encountered by science teachers in their instruction of integrated science were reported but without fine-grained investigation. Here, we present a study on exploring the instruction of integrated science in secondary level for exposing major problems in details in the science classroom. In this study, a series of classroom observation instruments were used for collecting and analyzing data on teachers’ performance on lesson enactment. Teacher verbal behavior, instructional organization, instructional content, and student verbal behavior and learning activities were adopted and examined. Findings revealed that students were provided with limited opportunities for participating and engaging in learning as science teachers were dominant in classroom talk. The teachers highlighted the integration of knowledge within one subject (within-subject knowledge), but undermined the integration of knowledge between subjects (cross-subject knowledge), which led to the unsuccessful instruction of the integrative content. And their inadequate competencies in designing and teaching STS content, scientific inquiry, and scientific experiments also affected the quality of integrated science instruction.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in International Journal of Science Education. The published version is available online at
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