Anatomy of junior high science textbooks : a content analysis of textual characteristics

Penney, Kimberley (2000) Anatomy of junior high science textbooks : a content analysis of textual characteristics. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the textual characteristics of junior high science textbooks, focusing on text type, truth status, metalanguage use, scientific status and role in scientific reasoning. Two textbook series were selected for analysis. Samples, representing ten percent of a life science and a physical science unit, were randomly selected from each textbook and analyzed. Popular reports of science were similarly analyzed to provide a comparative base. -- The general findings are: (1) the text type is overwhelmingly expository with no evidence of argumentation; (2) both forms of scientific writing are largely written as "true," but textbooks present scientific knowledge as less textured and more "true"; (3) textbooks have only one-third the metalanguage use of popular reports of science; and (4) the majority of statements are facts or conclusions. The differences found between the two forms of scientific writing are discussed in light of the goal of scientific literacy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9034
Item ID: 9034
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 109-118.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Science--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Textbooks

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