A quantitative analysis of high school chemistry textbooks for scientific literacy themes and expository learning aids

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the content of seven high school chemistry textbooks for curriculum balance and emphasis on the following aspects of scientific literacy: (a) science as a body of knowledge, (b) science as a way of investigating, (c) science as a way of thinking, and (d) the interaction among science, technology, and society. In addition, the number of textbook pages, vocabulary terms, pictures, questions, and problems at the end of the chapter were determined. The textbook is an important teaching aid in high school chemistry courses, which conveys some of the information that students receive and influences how students perceive this subject. The majority of chemistry textbooks we analyzed stress science as a body of knowledge, place some emphasis on science as a way of investigating, have practically eliminated science as a way of thinking, and devote very little text to the interaction among science, technology, and society. Furthermore, these are voluminous books that range in length from 466 to 729 pages, with as many as 60 questions per chapter.

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