Based on the analytical framework of nature of science (NOS) in junior school science textbooks, a content analysis method was adopted to analyze the NOS in junior middle school physical textbooks (grade 8) of five editions authorized by the Ministry of Education of China, and the features of NOS were analyzed and compared. It was found that all five textbooks presented poor representations of NOS. None of these five editions were scientifically objective, nor did they include discussions of scientific laws and theories. Furthermore, they rarely presented empirical evidence to support their arguments. The explicit representations of NOS were particularly inadequate.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Abd-El-Khalick F. (1998). The influence of history of science courses on students’ conceptions of the nature of science. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Oregon State University, Oregon.
Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L., & Lederman, N. G. (1998). The nature of science and instructional practice: Making the unnatural natural. Science Education, 82(4), 417–436.
Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). Improving science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: A critical review of the literature. International Journal of Science Education, 22(7), 665–701.
Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Akerson, V. L. (2004). Learning as conceptual change: Factors mediating the development of preservice elementary teachers’ views of nature of science. Science Education, 88(5), 785–810.
Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2005). Developing deeper understandings of nature of science: The impact of a philosophy of science course on preservice science teachers’ views and instructional planning. International Journal of Science Education, 27(1), 15–42.
Abd-El-Khalick, F., Waters, M., & An-Phong, L. (2008). Representations of nature of science in high school chemistry textbooks over the past four decades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(7), 835–855.
Akerson, V. L., Flick, L. B., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). The influence of young children's ideas in science on teaching practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 363-385.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). (1990). Science for All Americans. Oxford University Press. New York.
American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS]. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy: A project 2061 report. New York: Oxford University Press.
Babbie, E. (1998). The practice of social research (8th ed.). Wadsworth: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
China Central Government (2010). Outline of China’s National plan for medium and long-term education reform and development 2010–2020.
Chiappetta, E. L., Fillman, D. A., & Sethna, G. H. (1991). A method to quantify major themes of scientific literacy in science textbooks. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28, 713–725.
Chiappetta, E. L., & Fillman, D. A. (2007). Analysis of five high school biology textbooks used in the United States for inclusion of the nature of science. International Journal of Science Education, 29(15), 1847–1868.
Chinese Ministry of Education. (2001). Compulsory education physics course standards (draft). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
Chinese Ministry of Education. (2011). Compulsory education physics course standards (2011th ed.). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
Eastwell, P. (2014). Understanding hypotheses, predictions, Laws, and theories. Science Education Review, 13(1), 16–21.
Elgar, A. G. (2004). Science textbooks for lower secondary schools in Brunei: Issues of gender equity. International Journal of Science Education, 26(7), 875–894.
Gibbs, A., & Lawson, A. E. (1992). The nature of scientific thinking as reflected by the work of biologists & by biology textbooks. The American Biology Teacher, 54(3), 137–152.
Groves, F. H. (1995). Science vocabulary load of selected secondary science textbooks. School Science and Mathematics, 95(5), 231–235.
Hubisz, J. (2003). Middle-school texts don’t make the grade. Physics Today, 50–54.
Ireland, J., Watters, J. J., Lunn Brownlee, J., & Lupton, M. (2014). Approaches to inquiry teaching: Elementary teacher's perspectives. International Journal of Science Education, 36(10), 1733–1750.
Irez, S. (2009). Nature of science as depicted in Turkish biology textbooks. Science Education, 93(3), 422–447.
Khishfe, R., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2002). The influence of explicit reflective versus implicit inquiry oriented instruction on sixth graders’ views of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(7), 551–578.
King, C. J. H. (2010). An analysis of misconceptions in science textbooks: Earth science in England and Wales. International Journal of Science Education, 32(5), 565–601.
Lederman, N. G. (1998). The state of science education: Subject matter without context. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 3(2), 1–12.
Li, X. (2016). Science Textbooks Evaluation in Middle School: Theme in Scientific Inquiry. Beijing: Science Press (China).
Lumpe, A. T., & Beck, A. J. (1996). A profile of high school biology textbooks using scientific literacy recommendations. The American Biology Teacher, 58(3), 147–153.
Matthews, M. R. (2004). Thomas Kuhn’s impact on science education: What lessons can be learned? Science Education, 88(1), 90–118.
McComas, W. F., & Olson, J. K. (1998). The nature of science in international science education standards documents. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: Rationales and strategies (pp. 41–52). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Miller, J. D. (1983). Scientific literacy: A conceptual and empirical review. Daedalus, 112(2), 29–48.
Miller, J. D. (1998). The measurement of civic scientific literacy. Public Understanding of Science, 7, 203–223.
National Assessment of Education Progress. (1989). National Assessment Science Objectives-1990 assessment (pp. 18–26). Princeton: National Assessment of Education Progress.
National Research Council (NRC). (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council (NRC). (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standards: A guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). (2000). NSTA Pathways-Middle School Edition. NSTA Press. Arlington, VA.
Niaz, M. (1998). From cathode rays to alpha particles to quantum of action: A rational reconstruction of structure of the atom and its implications for chemistry textbooks. Science Education, 82, 527–552.
Niaz, M. (2005). Do general chemistry textbooks facilitate conceptual understanding? Quimica Nova, 28(2), 335–336.
Osborne, J., Collins, S., Ratcliffe, M., Millar, R., & Duschl, R. (2003). What “ideas-about-science” should be taught in school science? A Delphi study of the expert community. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 692–720.
People’s Republic of China Ministry of Education. (2001). Full time compulsory education physics course standards (experimental draft). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
Phillips, M. C., & Chiappetta, E. L. (2007). Do middle school science textbooks present a balanced view of the nature of science? New Orleans: Paper presented at the annual meeting of National Association for Research in Science Teaching.
Pizzini, E. L., Shepardson, D. P., & Abell, S. K. (1992). The questioning level of select middle school science textbooks. School Science and Mathematics, 92, 74–79.
Rodriguez, M. A., & Niaz, M. (2002). How in spite of the rhetoric, history of chemistry has been ignored in presenting atomic structure in textbooks. Science and Education, 11, 423–441.
Tarr, J. E., Reys, R. E., Reys, B. J., Chavez, O., Shih, J., & Osterlind, S. J. (2008). The impact of middle-grades mathematics curricula and the classroom learning environment on student achievement. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(3), 247–280.
Valverde, G. A., Bianchi, L. J., Wolfe, R. G., Schmidt, W. H., & Houang, R. T. (2002). According to the book: using TIMSS to investigate the translation of policy into practice through the world of textbooks. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Wang, J.Y., Jou, M., Lv, Y.Z.,& Huang, C. C.(2018). An investigation on teaching performances of model-based flipping classroom for physics supported by modern teaching technologies. Computers in Human Behavior, 84, 36-48.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the Education Science Program of Shaanxi Province (SGH16B008), National Social Science Foundation of China (14ZDB160) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (71704116).
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Li, X., Tan, Z., Shen, J. et al. Analysis of Five Junior High School Physics Textbooks Used in China for Representations of Nature of Science. Res Sci Educ 50, 833–844 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-018-9713-z
- Junior High School Physics Textbooks
- Textbook evaluation
- Nature of science content analysis method