|About the Book|
To improve K-12 students images of the nature of science (NOS) through science textbooks, two issues must be addressed: (a) the level of NOS that ought to be included in science textbooks and (b) the treatment of this level in those textbooks.MoreTo improve K-12 students images of the nature of science (NOS) through science textbooks, two issues must be addressed: (a) the level of NOS that ought to be included in science textbooks and (b) the treatment of this level in those textbooks. Science educators achieved a consensus level of agreement regarding what NOS aspects should be taught for K-12 science learners- however, there is a need for more clarification regarding the actual treatment of NOS in science textbooks. The purpose of this study is to investigate the NOS inclusion in high school physics textbooks. To be specific, this study examines the included NOS aspects, the frequency of NOS inclusion, the contexts exist for NOS inclusion, and the accuracy of NOS inclusion. This study utilized 12 science education studies to develop the Master Aspects of Nature of Science [MA-NOS] which includes 12 NOS aspects that ought to be included in K-12 science curriculum. The analyzed textbooks in this study are seven textbooks identified by The American Institute of Physics as the most widely used high school physics textbooks in the United States in 2005. These textbooks were used in teaching five academic levels: (a) Regular First-Year Physics, (b) Physics for Non-Science Students, (c) Honors Physics, (d) AP-B Physics, and (e) AP-C Physics. The researcher selected exclusively physics textbooks because physics is his main interest.-To facilitate the content analysis of the selected textbooks, the study developed The Collection Data Coding Guide which includes six parts describing the MA-NOS aspects and the process of identifying and collecting data. For each NOS aspect, a description and one or more selected ideal indicators were provided to facilitate data collecting and judging the accuracy of NOS inclusion. This coding guide was reviewed for its content validity by two science educators who specialize in NOS. However, two types of reliability were conducted to identify the consistency of selecting NOS units, classifying contexts existing for NOS inclusion, identifying NOS elements, and judging NOS inclusion accuracy. The agreements over time rate-rerate reliability were 100%, 96.97%, 79.36%, and 100% respectively. However, the agreements among analysts inter-rate reliability were 100%, 92.3%, 66.7%, and 96.2% respectively. This study permitted eliminating, adding, or modifying NOS indicators through textbook analysis. At the end of this study, three indicators were eliminated, one was added, and one was modified. The final version of the coding guide includes 36 indicators representing the meaning of the ML-NOS.-The findings of the first research question indicate that all NOS aspects are included in the textbooks except there is a distinction between observations and inferences. However, the textbooks vary in their inclusion of NOS aspects- each textbook includes between five to 11 different NOS aspects. The results of the second question indicate that the frequencies of NOS inclusion range between 41 to 174 instances in the textbooks. The textbooks seem to include more NOS elements related to scientific knowledge is tentative, there is a distinction between scientific laws and theories, scientific knowledge is empirically based, the absence of a universal step-wise scientific method, cooperation and collaboration in development of scientific knowledge, and the role of experiment in science. The findings of the third research question indicate that 84.5% of the total included NOS elements in the textbooks are included through the main texts. 15.5% of the elements are included through figures, lab activities, boxed-in sections, and glossary sections- however, no elements are included through tables or charts. The results also indicate that more utilization of types of contexts beside the main text associates with more NOS inclusion. The results of the fourth question indicate that 14 NOS elements, with 2.3% of the total elements, are inaccurately included in the textbooks. These elements are related to only two aspects which are scientific knowledge is tentative and the absence of a universal step-wise scientific method. The only two textbooks that do not include any inaccurate NOS elements are Physics (Giancoli) and Physics (Cutnell & Johnson). All other textbooks include between one to four inaccurate NOS elements, with 1.4% to 9.8% of their included NOS elements.-Several strengths and limitations of the study are introduced in chapter five. Then, the findings are discussed under five main conclusions. Implications related to science education preparation programs and science textbooks and recommendations for future research are introduced at the end of this chapter.