ERIC Number: EJ1071558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
Representation of Scientific Methodology in Secondary Science Textbooks
Binns, Ian C.; Bell, Randy L.
Science & Education, v24 n7-8 p913-936 Oct 2015
This study explored how eight widely used secondary science textbooks described scientific methodology and to what degree the textbooks' examples and investigations were consistent with this description. Data consisted of all text from student and teacher editions that referred to scientific methodology and all investigations. Analysis used an ethnographic content analysis approach. Results indicated that all eight textbooks presented mixed views of scientific methodology in their initial descriptions. Five textbooks emphasized the stereotypical "scientific method," while the other three placed more emphasis on the more appropriate view that scientists use a variety of methods when conducting investigations. Results also revealed that the initial descriptions, examples, and investigations were inconsistent in six of the eight textbooks. These findings suggest that compared to earlier investigations, textbooks have somewhat broadened their explicit descriptions of scientific methodology, but continue to implicitly present a more narrow and traditional view through text and investigations. This inconsistency is likely to lead to confusion as students try to make sense of the richness and complexity of ways that scientists construct knowledge.
Descriptors: Scientific Methodology, Secondary School Science, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research, Investigations, Demonstrations (Educational), Ethnography, Content Analysis, Stereotypes, Correlation, Alignment (Education), Misconceptions, Educational Practices, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Principles, Scientific Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A