Chinese students’ science-related experiences: Comparison of the ROSE study in Xinjiang and Shanghai

Yau Yuen YEUNG, Yufeng LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Students’ daily-life experiences may render favorable effects on the students’ affective domain like interest, enthusiasm, motivation, joy, curiosity, awareness, and eagerness to learn science as not commonly found in the classroom environment. However, no rigorous research has been reported on those aspects in Mainland China despite many recent studies done in various Western countries. Purpose: This paper aims to report and compare the science-related experiences of ninth-graders from two places (in Urumqi City of Xinjiang province and Shanghai) in China through a large-scale survey of their junior secondary three students. Sample: The sample consists of 4115 students in Urumqi City (from 28 schools) and Shanghai (from 25 schools). Design and methods: This study adopted a Likert scale questionnaire instrument, as translated from the international Relevance Of Science Education (ROSE) Project. From a confirmatory factor analysis of the data, we identify and focus on six factors which are directly correlated with students’ science-related experiences outside school environment in Xinjiang and Shanghai and employ relevant factor scores to compare the gender, regional, and socioeconomic effects. Results: As revealed by the t-test, gender and regional differences were statistically significant in affecting (1) students’ outdoor living experience, (2) hands-on experience of transportation, and (3) their daily-life experience with do-it-yourself tools and models. In all three aspects, boys and Xinjiang students possessed richer experiences than girls and Shanghai students, respectively. Conclusions: Based on ANOVA tests, Shanghai students’ out-of-school science-related experiences were more often significantly affected by various socioeconomic variables (including their parents’ education and occupation and their family income) than Xinjiang students. From cross-regional comparison, Chinese students had much fewer science-related experiences than those of Greek and Finnish students. The limitations and educational implications of the present study are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-236
JournalResearch in Science & Technological Education
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Yeung, Y.-y., & Li, Y. (2015). Chinese students’ science-related experiences: Comparison of the ROSE study in Xinjiang and Shanghai. Research in Science & Technological Education, 33(2), 218-236.


  • Science-related experiences
  • Chinese learners
  • ROSE project
  • Shanghai
  • Xinjiang


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