Calado, F; Scharfenberg, F-J; Bogner, FX: To What Extent Do Biology Textbooks Contribute to Scientific Literacy? Criteria for Analysing Science-Technology-Society-Environment Issues., Education Sciences, 5(4), 255-280 (2015) [Link]

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 for 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 raise 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 on 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 concerning 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.

last modified 2015-10-21