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Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 255-280; doi:10.3390/educsci5040255

To What Extent do Biology Textbooks Contribute to Scientific Literacy? Criteria for Analysing Science-Technology-Society-Environment Issues

Centre of Math & Science Education, Didactics of Biology, University of Bayreuth, NW I, Universitätsstr. 30, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany
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Academic Editor: James Albright
Received: 20 June 2015 / Revised: 28 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 2-MEV Model Monitoring Green Attitudes)
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Abstract

Our article proposes a set of six criteria for analysing science-technology-society-environment (STSE) issues in regular textbooks as to how they are expected to contribute to students’ scientific literacy. We chose genetics and gene technology as fields prolific in STSE issues. We derived our criteria (including 26 sub-criteria) from a literature review of the debate in science education on how to increase scientific literacy. We inspected the textbooks regarding the relationships between science, technology, society, and environment, and considered the presence of the decontextualized and socially neutral view of science as distorted view. We, qualitatively and quantitatively, applied our set of criteria to two German Biology textbooks and identified, in total, 718 STSE statements. Based on the frequencies of different criteria and sub-criteria in the textbooks, we drew conclusions concerning STSE issues and the underlying conceptions of science and technology, which might hinder the furtherance of scientific literacy. The applicability of our approach in other science education contexts is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: textbook analysis; scientific literacy; science; technology; society; environment; STSE issues; misconceptions textbook analysis; scientific literacy; science; technology; society; environment; STSE issues; misconceptions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Calado, F.M.; Scharfenberg, F.-J.; Bogner, F.X. To What Extent do Biology Textbooks Contribute to Scientific Literacy? Criteria for Analysing Science-Technology-Society-Environment Issues. Educ. Sci. 2015, 5, 255-280.

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