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ERIC Number: EJ818212
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
Representations of Scientists in Canadian High School and College Textbooks
van Eijck, Michiel; Roth, Wolff-Michael
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v45 n9 p1059-1082 Nov 2008
This study investigated the representations of a select group of scientists (n = 10) in a sample of Canadian high school and college textbooks. Drawing on semiotic and cultural-historical activity theoretical frameworks, we conducted two analyses. A coarse-grained, quantitative analysis of the prevalence and structure of these representations exhibited bias toward particular scientists' representations and particular types of texts and inscriptions therein, suggesting a domain-specific rhetorical structure. A fine-grained, qualitative analysis of scientists' representations revealed that high school and college textbooks represent: (a) objects of scientific practice as projected or anticipated independently from human activity; (b) scientists' individual actions aiming at the creation of non-tangible tools and rules by means of observation, modification, or manipulation of given, tangible objects; (c) scientific practice as isolated due to which the simultaneous belonging to different practices hardly determines the goals of scientists' actions; and (d) scientists as part of a small community of mainly other scientists who subsequently determine each other's individual actions. The implications of these outcomes were discussed. (Contains 4 tables, 5 figures and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada