UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implementing curricular and pedagogical reforms in Chinese schools : a case of collaborating physics teachers Fu, Guopeng


In 2001, China launched a large-scale educational reform encompassing curricular and pedagogical content in both elementary and secondary levels. Zhengzhou, a city in the Henan province, began to fully implement the reform in senior high schools in 2008. Consequently, the question that is critical to the reform process regarding physics, one of the science education curricula, is: What are physics teachers’ views on collaborative approaches to understanding and implementing the new curricular and pedagogical reforms in Zhengzhou senior high schools? This question was the focus of the research for this thesis. Investigating this question necessarily involved inquiring into the administrators’ perspectives on their role with regard to the teacher development. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in three senior high schools. Thirteen physics teachers, 2 administrators and 2 students were interviewed. Some classroom observations were made before the interview. Personal reflective journals were written after everyday’s investigation. Field notes and photos were taken to record the research context. The study indicated that teachers modified their pedagogy as a result of a collaborative process. The power hierarchy between experienced teachers and novice teachers was reduced because of the reform. The College Entrance Examination, students’ feedback, and administrative support were found to be key factors influencing successful teacher collaboration. Administrators provided and explored strategies for teacher development. Moreover, they created a supportive climate for teacher collaboration through school based incentives for systemic change.

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