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Title: A comparative study of the Chinese NCEE examination and the GCE A level examination in biology in Beijing and Belfast: Assessment, Pedagogy and curriculum.
Author: Yan, J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3574 2301
Awarding Body: Queens -Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation compares the senior high school biology in Beijing and advanced level (A level) biology in Belfast, looking in particular at three themes: assessment, curriculum, and pedagogy. The focus of the study is the comparison of the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) - in Chin~se 'Gao Kao', and the A level biology examinations. A case study of the new curriculum refonn in China is also included. The study took a postpositive approach to the collection of data and multiple methods have been employed. The results showed that the A level biology examinations were more comprehensive with a much higher percentage of open-ended questions and tested greater diversity of tasks than the NCEE. The NCEE had a much higher percentage of questions based on a real life context and assessed many more of the 'higher-level skills' than the A levels. However, neither exam reflects the specification perfectly. There were fewer differences in curricular or pedagogic issues of advanced biology in Beijing and Belfast. Both the NCEE and the A level exams had a strong impact on advanced biology teaching and· learning in positi~e and negative ways. In addition, the case study of the new curriculum in China showed teachers and students supported its main principles, but evidence showed the new curriculum was rushed and· chaotic in its implementation. Generally speaking, Belfast teachers and students were more satisfied with nearly every aspect of advanced biology teaching and learning than Beijing teachers and students. Naturally, the assessment, curriculum and pedagogy in advanced biology in each system have been influenced by their social and cultural contexts. The thesis has discussed and' suggested the potential ways of improving advanced biology education by reforming the exam system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Queens -Belfast, 2008 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available