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Science & Education

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 705–727 | Cite as

Chemistry and Chemical Education Through Text and Image: Analysis of Twentieth Century Textbooks Used in Brazilian Context

  • Karina Ap F. D. Souza
  • Paulo Alves Porto
Article

Abstract

Assuming that textbooks give literary expression to cultural and ideological values of a nation or group, we propose the analysis of chemistry textbooks used in Brazilian universities throughout the twentieth century. We analyzed iconographic and textual aspects of 31 textbooks which had significant diffusion in the context of Brazilian universities at that period. As a result of the iconographic analysis, nine categories of images were proposed: (1) laboratory and experimentation, (2) industry and production, (3) graphs and diagrams, (4) illustrations related to daily life, (5) models, (6) illustrations related to the history of science, (7) pictures or diagrams of animal, vegetable or mineral samples, (8) analogies and (9) concepts of physics. The distribution of images among the categories showed a different emphasis in the presentation of chemical content due to a commitment to different conceptions of chemistry over the period. So, we started with chemistry as an experimental science in the early twentieth century, with an emphasis change to the principles of chemistry from the 1950s, culminating in a chemistry of undeniable technological influence. Results showed that reflections not only on the history of science, but on the history of science education, may be useful for the improvement of science education.

Keywords

Science Education General Chemistry Descriptive Chemistry Chemical Education Chemical Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions, and Dr. Kevin de Berg for the copyediting. This research was supported by the Brazilian agencies Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Pesquisa em História da Ciência e Ensino de Química (GHQ), Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil

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