Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jerry D. Clark (Committee Member), Jason A. Deibel (Committee Member), Sachiko Tosa (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Inquiry based teaching has been widespread in the United States as well as in China in the last two decades. It was implemented by many teachers and shown to be effective in both countries. This study examines the extent to which inquiry-based teaching in high-school physics is practiced in US and China through the use of lesson observations and a survey. Nineteen lessons taught by 19 teachers (9 US and 10 Chinese) were observed (N=19). Results show that both US and Chinese teachers know well about the inquiry-based teaching. However, in practice, little inquiry-based teaching was observed in the two countries by different reasons: many of US physics lessons lack rigorous content, while many Chinese lessons failed to include student-centered instruction. Implications of the findings to improve teacher education in both countries are discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Physics

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Physics Commons