A Comparison of Elementary Science Textbooks between the U.S and Vietnam: The Earth and Space Unit

Date
2021
Authors
Pham, Ngoc Que Anh
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare first grade science textbooks between the U.S and Vietnam in terms of certain features in textbooks presentation in the Earth and Space unit. The illustration about curriculum standards in New General Education Curriculum (Vietnam) and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (the U.S) is also examined. The curriculum standards were compared based on objectives, knowledge and skills in the Earth and Space unit for first graders. The number of topics, lessons, the placement of the Earth and Space unit, the introduction and development of the lesson, content of knowledge, tasks and activities, and level of learning objective in tasks were also analyzed. The findings of the study provide the understanding of curriculum standards and what content of knowledge and teaching activities expressed in the Earth and Space topic in both textbooks. In terms of curriculum standards, whereas TEKS (the U.S) focuses on the inquiry approach, scientific reasoning and investigation, the New General Education Curriculum (Vietnam) emphasizes on scientific competence. Both countries have some common in the content of knowledge about day sky, night sky and weather. Additionally, Bloom's taxonomy is used to categorize the level of thinking required in the tasks of both textbooks. As a result, the knowledge and comprehension level are emphasized because these are introductory processes to higher levels in learning (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation). In the U.S textbook, students have more hands-on activities which emphasize the scientific process, inquiry and investigating approach, and STEM process whereas Vietnamese textbook are mainly about applying the knowledge in solving daily situations which are familiar to students.

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Keywords
Science textbooks, Elementary school science, STEM, Vietnam, United States, Texas, Earth sciences
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Department
Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching