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A Comparative Analysis of Lower Secondary Chemistry Textbook Components: A Study Involving the Chinese Communities of China and Malaysia

Bao Guo An and Kah Heng Chua

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 31, Issue 1, March 2023


Keywords: Chemistry Education, China, comparative study, lower secondary, Malaysia, textbook analysis

Published on: 17 March 2023

Chemistry textbooks serve as the primary reference for teachers and students during teaching and learning. The textbook details the learning content and knowledge covered within a particular subject. Chemistry is more effective in raising awareness of people’s behavior and its impact on the surrounding environment, so it receives more research attention. This study investigates the chemistry content covered in Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary School and lower secondary science textbooks published by Chinese People’s Education Press. The comparative method, which includes description, interpretation, juxtaposition, and comparison, was employed in this study. The authors compared lower secondary science textbooks used in most regions of China and Malaysian Chinese schools. Results showed some similarities in the chemistry contents; for instance, they are arranged from fundamental concepts to a broader perspective. However, differences were found in the sequence in which the chemistry concepts and their application to Nature were introduced in both textbook versions used in this study. It was discovered that the organization of chemistry textbooks used in most regions of China was more scientific than the book used in Malaysia. It was relatively basic in comparison and only presented the concepts required for secondary school subjects. The findings of this study suggest that it might be appropriate for 21st-century chemistry concepts to be integrated into the curriculum to address the need for education in environmental and sustainability issues from the perspective of education in chemistry.

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