NATURVETENSKAPENS KARAKTÄR OCH EPISTEMOLOGISK LEGITIMERING - Möjligheter till undervisning utifrån styrdokument och läroböcker
Aim: The purpose of this master thesis is to examine the occurrence of nature of science (NOS), and the justification of scientific knowledge, in school science textbooks and curriculum documents for upper secondary school (year 10 – 12) in Sweden. There are a lot of research about science textbooks and NOS which tells us that the coverage and quality of NOS-content often are poor. Put together with the fact that students and their teachers may have persistent misconceptions about NOS, and that textbooks have an influence on the teaching and learning in class, NOS in textbooks have important implications. Theory: In school science, knowledge can be seen as a set of different forms, content knowledge, procedural knowledge, NOS, applications of science, history of science and science as an enterprise. A part of NOS is about justification of scientific knowledge can be said to include three aspects: empirical support, theoretical consistency and social certification. Models for NOS provides a set of indicators for each of the aspects. Method: Two studies were conducted. The curricula study was a qualitative content analysis with support from a constructed model of sex knowledge-categories in school science. The textbook study was a quantitative content analysis of a thematic sample of 9 different textbook chapters in biology, physics and science studies. Results: Analysis indicated that there are several instances related to NOS and justification of knowledge in the curriculum documents. For students in biology, physics and chemistry some basic knowledge of NOS is mandatory to pass. The three aspects of justification are unequally represented in both curriculum and textbooks. Empirical support is the most common, theoretical consistency a bit less common but social certification are very rare. The missing third aspect might result in a white spot on the map of how science works – and an uncomplete scientific literacy.