Theses Doctoral

A Comparative Study of the Introduction of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Mathematics Courses in Ningbo, China

Lu, Xingchi

Recently, in an attempt to promote globalization and internationalization, the Chinese government has introduced AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) programs in Chinese high school. Although it is one of the biggest countries to introduce international programs to its secondary education in an effort to prepare more students to go overseas to pursue their higher education, China does not have much research focusing on introduced foreign academic programs. The purpose of this study is to fill in some gaps in the research while providing a better understanding of the depth behind the phenomenon of introducing the AP program and the IB diploma program in China and that introduction’s impact on the existing general Chinese high school program in mathematics. Multiple sources of data were collected and used to make various kinds of analysis such as contextual analysis, cross-curricula comparisons and statistical analysis. The findings illustrated the differences and similarities between the AP program and the IB program in their respective schools in Ningbo, China. It further examined the differences and similarities between the AP program/ IB program and the intended Chinese high school program in mathematics education. It also explored mathematics instructors’ perceptions of the imported AP and IB programs in China.
Limitations of this study include the absence of some test scores, the relatively small sample size and the circumscribed selection of interviewees. This study provides a guide to help Chinese students and their parents decide on a learning program based on individual preferences. Also, the results of this study indicate that a considerable gap exists between secondary education and higher education in Chinese mathematics, and also points to possible limitations for individualized learning. The findings imply the need to consider curricular reform and suggest that local teachers and non-local teachers who teach in the imported programs consider reinforcing their teaching by learning from each other. Policymakers need to make adjustments to consider local conditions when introducing international programs so as to offer the most suitable program possible to native students.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, J. Philip
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 27, 2019