Social issues in high school biology textbooks: 1963– 1983


  • Rosenthal, D. B. Science and Society in High School Biology Textbooks: 1963–; 1983. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Rochester, 1983.


Twenty-two high school biology textbooks published between 1963 and 1983 were analyzed for their treatment of social issues. Textbooks were selected from among those used most frequently by teachers and/or having the highest sales. The textbooks were read in random order and the amount of space, to the nearest tenth of a page, devoted to each social issue was expressed as a percentage of total length of text. The results showed that attention to social issues decreased between 1963 and 1983 in the textbooks studied. The implications of these results for biology education in the 1980s are discussed.