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ERIC Number: ED515762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 299
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7646-4
Representation of Scientific Methodology in Secondary Science Textbooks
Binns, Ian C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the representation of scientific methodology in secondary science textbooks. More specifically, this study looked at how textbooks introduced scientific methodology and to what degree the examples from the rest of the textbook, the investigations, and the images were consistent with the text's description of scientific methodology, if at all. The sample included eight secondary science textbooks from two publishers, McGraw-Hill/Glencoe and Harcourt/Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Data consisted of all student text and teacher text that referred to scientific methodology. Second, all investigations in the textbooks were analyzed. Finally, any images that depicted scientists working were also collected and analyzed. The text analysis and activity analysis used the ethnographic content analysis approach developed by Altheide (1996). The rubrics used for the text analysis and activity analysis were initially guided by the "Benchmarks" (AAAS, 1993), the "NSES" (NRC, 1996), and the nature of science literature. Preliminary analyses helped to refine each of the rubrics and grounded them in the data. Image analysis used stereotypes identified in the DAST literature. Findings indicated that all eight textbooks presented mixed views of scientific methodology in their initial descriptions. Five textbooks placed more emphasis on the traditional view and three placed more emphasis on the broad view. Results also revealed that the initial descriptions, examples, investigations, and images all emphasized the broad view for "Glencoe Biology" and the traditional view for "Chemistry: Matter and Change." The initial descriptions, examples, investigations, and images in the other six textbooks were not consistent. Overall, the textbook with the most appropriate depiction of scientific methodology was "Glencoe Biology" and the textbook with the least appropriate depiction of scientific methodology was "Physics: Principles and Problems." These findings suggest that compared to earlier investigations, textbooks have begun to improve in how they represent scientific methodology. However, there is still much room for improvement. Future research needs to consider how textbooks impact teachers' and students' understandings of scientific methodology. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A