Chem_textbooks_NOS_JRST_final - Chemistry Textbooks Running...

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Chemistry Textbooks 1 Running Head: NATURE OF SCIENCE IN CHEMISTRY TEXTBOOKS Representations of Nature of Science in High School Chemistry Textbooks Over the Past Four Decades Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Mindy Waters, and An-Phong Le University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 311 Education Building, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
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Chemistry Textbooks 2 Abstract This study assessed the representations of nature of science (NOS) in high school chemistry textbooks and the extent to which these representations have changed during the past four decades. Analyses focused on the empirical, tentative, inferential, creative, theory-driven, and social NOS, in addition to the myth of “The Scientific Method,” the nature of scientific theories and laws, and the social and cultural embeddedness of science. A total of 14 textbooks, including five “series” spanning one to four decades, were analyzed. The textbooks commanded significant market shares in the United States and were widely used in some of the most populace states. Relevant textbook sections were scored on each of the target NOS aspects on a scale ranging from –3 to +3, which reflected the accuracy, completeness, and manner (explicit versus implicit) in which these aspects were addressed. The textbooks fared poorly in their representations of NOS. Additionally, with a few exceptions, textbook scores either did not change or decreased over the past four decades. These trends are incommensurate with the discourse in national and international science education reform documents, which has witnessed an increasing emphasis on the centrality of NOS to scientific literacy and pre-college science education during the same time period. Assessment and evaluation strategies, and policies need to be targeted if substantial and desired changes in the ways NOS is addressed in science textbooks are to be effected. Introduction Over the past four decades, the goal of helping students and teachers develop informed views of nature of science (NOS) has increasingly become central to the vision and discourse of national science education reform documents both in the United States and across the globe (e.g., American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1971, 1990; Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 1997; Curriculum Council, 1998; Millar & Osborne, 1998; National Center for Educational Research and Development [NCERD], 1997; National Research
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Chemistry Textbooks 3 Council [NRC], 1996; National Science Teachers Association, 1982, 2000). Understandings of NOS are currently regarded a significant outcome of pre-college science education and a central component of scientific literacy (AAAS, 1990; NRC, 1996). The focus on NOS has generated extensive research and development efforts over the past four decades, which were directed toward assessing pre-college students’ and science teachers’ NOS views; designing, enacting, and testing units, courses, and curricula aimed at helping students and teachers develop informed
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2010 for the course C&I CI550 taught by Professor Markdressmen during the Fall '07 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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Chem_textbooks_NOS_JRST_final - Chemistry Textbooks Running...

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