The elaboration of concepts in three biology textbooks: Facilitating student learning

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Abstract

As the levels of scientific literacy and science achievement have become issues of concern, the necessity of investigating possible causes becomes more urgent. Since textbooks have been shown to have a tremendous impact on curriculum, this is one variable of science instruction that needs further investigation. The purpose of this article is to describe how three biology books present the content related to photosynthesis through the construct of elaboration. The textbooks were selected for their differences in target audiences, as defined by student abilities. Results are discussed in terms of quantity of elaboration, relevance of ideas used to elaborate major concepts, relationship of the nature of elaboration to intended readers, and the general relationship between how texts present information and student learning.

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