SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

A method using linguistic content analysis was developed to assess the degree to which science was portrayed as a process of inquiry within a high school biology textbook series. Linguistic content analysis is a method of encoding textual data by categorizing key words and identifying the relationships among these words. The encoded textual data were analyzed using logistic regression techniques. The measure developed for the study was shown to be highly reliable and valid. In the textbook series studied, the frequency of the portrayal of science as a process of inquiry increased from 1956 to 1965, then showed a pattern of decline in 1977 and 1985. The results further indicate that the frequency of portrayal of science as a process of inquiry was higher in introductory chapters of the textbooks and in chapters dealing with the topic of genetics and lower in chapters dealing with leaf structure. The frequency of the portrayal of science as a process inquiry was also higher at the beginning of chapters and at the beginning of paragraphs.