Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Critical Analysis of General Science Textbooks for Inclusion of the Nature of Science Used at Elementary Level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Critical Analysis of General Science Textbooks for Inclusion of the Nature of Science Used at Elementary Level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Article excerpt

Introduction

Nature of science is a critical component of scientific literacy. Nature of science is derived from observation of the natural world. it involves human prediction, imagination and creativity (Lederman, 2007). Achievement of targets of teaching of science is impossible without offering instructional as well as assessment activities aiming to improve imagination, prediction and creativity abilities of learners. Therefore, ideal science teaching activities revolve around the circle of observation, hypothesis, experiments, analysis, conclusion and generalizations.

A textbook contains the information and activities that are necessary to achieve the desired learning outcomes (Khutorskoi, 2006). Similarly textbook is one of the key elements of any curriculum which provide the practical shape of curriculum in class room. According to Albach and Kelly, (1998) the science textbooks at school level implement curriculum in classroom by reflecting the objectives of science learning, such as understanding the nature of science and content; develop learner's scientific skills and provide information about the interrelationship of science, technology and society. Lemmer, Edwards and Rapule, (2008) explained that the textbook is developed to achieve the objectives of curriculum and also achieve students learning outcomes and this is only when the quality of textbook reflects the quality of instruction. Textbooks are written to facilitate learners to access the curriculum.

The elementary science textbooks are written within a framework and this framework reflects the importance of the nature of science that is based on the knowledge, practice, learners' needs and understanding of various concepts of science through observations, hypotheses, inferences, experiments and conclusions (National Research Centre, 2012). Science education is an important component of education for learners. There is need to provide science education at any level to all learners that is only possible with the availability of quality science textbooks (Lederman, 2008).

Textbook is only a source of potential learning for students. In teaching of science, students are expected; what they actually learn from textbooks mediated by the school context (Mesa, 2004). The knowledge represented in the science textbooks is used to prepare learners for new information and use science and technology in their daily life (Pingel, 1999). One of the important features of best science textbooks is that they organize the scientific knowledge in a well sequence, flexible and are based on facts (Olesko, 2006).

In the present era of science and technology, there is need to provide scientific knowledge by using technology but in Pakistan, science textbooks are used in schools for the provision of scientific knowledge. In this connection Reddy (2005) stated that a textbook have more value especially to poor population where the school and textbooks are the only source of learning for students. One of the important roles of a quality science textbook is to ensure uniformity, coverage, appropriate pacing and better organization of content in terms of instruction (Motshekga, 2009). A science textbook is someone different from other subjects because it is based on fact and concrete information so a good and quality science textbook should support a teacher at any level of education (Bekiroglu, 2007). Davies, (2003) stated that a good textbook should not only support the teachers but also support the learners. According to Guzzetti (2000) science textbooks are developed in such a way that teaching by discovering and experimentation in laboratories can be possible.

Iding, Klemm, Crosby and Speitel (2002) stated that science textbooks introduce nature of science to students through cognitive processes or by comprehension nature activities. The illustrations of these textbooks are classified as knowledge acquisition, knowledge application and knowledge creation. …

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