ERIC Number: EJ1039999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 184
Conceptual Variation or Incoherence? Textbook Discourse on Genes in Six Countries
Gericke, Niklas M.; Hagberg, Mariana; dos Santos, Vanessa Carvalho; Joaquim, Leyla Mariane; El-Hani, Charbel N.
Science & Education, v23 n2 p381-416 Feb 2014
The aim of this paper is to investigate in a systematic and comparative way previous results of independent studies on the treatment of genes and gene function in high school textbooks from six different countries. We analyze how the conceptual variation within the scientific domain of Genetics regarding gene function models and gene concepts is transformed via the didactic transposition into school science textbooks. The results indicate that a common textbook discourse on genes and their function exist in textbooks from the different countries. The structure of science as represented by conceptual variation and the use of multiple models was present in all the textbooks. However, the existence of conceptual variation and multiple models is implicit in these textbooks, i.e., the "phenomenon" of conceptual variation and multiple models are not addressed explicitly, nor its consequences and, thus, it ends up introducing conceptual incoherence about the gene concept and its function "within" the textbooks. We conclude that within the found textbook-discourse ontological aspects of the academic disciplines of genetics and molecular biology were retained, but without their epistemological underpinnings; these are lost in the didactic transposition. These results are of interest since students might have problems reconstructing the correct scientific understanding from the transformed school science knowledge as depicted within the high school textbooks. Implications for textbook writing as well as teaching are discussed in the paper.
Descriptors: Textbook Content, Textbooks, High Schools, Genetics, Secondary School Science, Foreign Countries, High School Students, Epistemology, Science Instruction, Molecular Biology, Scientific Concepts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A