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Student Achievement in Social Studies in Urban Public Schools: China and Japan

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This research focuses on students’ learning of social studies in urban public schools in Japan and China through a comparative analysis. Two different scenarios of civics (social studies) teaching and learning in different social milieus are explored by factor analysis and ANOVA based on empirical database, as presented by a variety of tables and figures. Three conclusions are drawn from this research. First, students’ understanding of social studies in urban public schools varies based on their nationality not on their gender. Second, students’ understanding of social studies in urban public schools varies based on their learning interests and school exercises of social studies but not their community participation. Third, the predictable student achievement in the understanding of social studies in urban public schools for female and male is on the average identical. The article sheds light on policy implications for curriculum reform in various countries, such as: (1) policymakers should see if student achievement appropriately matches commonly accepted civic awareness and knowledge with their specific societal context; (2) curriculum reform of social studies should orient toward nurturing students’ learning interests and providing more opportunities for students’ exercises to help improve their achievement through various channels, such as adopting more attractive teaching methods and contents, creating open school climate for practising civic knowledge, etc.

Keywords: comparative research; curricula reform; public schools; social studies; student achievement

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Maryland at College Park

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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