Science & Education

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 333–359 | Cite as

History of Science in Science Education: Development and Validation of a Checklist for Analysing the Historical Content of Science Textbooks

  • Laurinda Leite


One of the aspects science education should focus on is learning about science.Achieving a good understanding of this aspect requires, among others, the useof the history of science. There is some evidence that teachers rely heavily ontextbooks to select the historical content they include in their physical sciencelessons. On the other hand, Portuguese physical science syllabuses are not veryexplicit about the teaching of the science. Therefore, textbook writers may notfeel compelled to give enough importance to the history of science in their textbooksand consequently little history of science will pervade the science lessons. This paperaims to present a theoretically grounded checklist developed for analysing the historical content of science textbooks. Five physics textbooks that are different with regard to historical content were analysed. Inter-ratter agreement was used in order to validate the checklist. The results of the analysis show that the checklist is able to reveal differences among textbooks and that the historical content included in the textbooks is hardly able to give students an adequate image of science and scientists' work.


Science Education Physical Science Science Lesson Historical Content Science Textbook 
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.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurinda Leite
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Educação e PsicologiaUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal

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