Grace Polson (Adelphi University, USA)
The instructional and assessment strategies of chemistry teachers in a school in India and a school in the U.S. were studied to measure how science is learned and assessed. Indian teachers approach science concepts mostly with this notion of “teaching toward the test”. In India, the chemistry unit assessments are writing-intensive and require critical thinking skills. These assessments are designed very similar to their standardized exams, which probe for higher – order thinking, such as solving problems, clarifying ideas, and illustrating science concepts. The U.S. chemistry teachers also teach toward the test, but they only prepare students for a factual – based exam that requires little to no means of enhancing their scientific literacy. In analyzing U.S. students’ higher – order thinking ability, an Indian writing – heavy assessment was given to students at a U.S. school. The poor performance on this assessment depicted U.S. students’ insufficiency in applying and analyzing science concepts.