The Intended Curriculum: Nature as Represented in a Science Textbook

  • Ajay Sharma
  • Cory Buxton


This chapter is a reprint of our paper on human-nature relationships in school science that was published in 2015 in the journal Science Education. It explores how the language of science textbooks works to represent the world for students in distinct ways that have serious implications for their ecological literacy. Using a methodological framework based on critical discourse analysis and systemic functional linguistics, we focus on clarifying the textual representations of the relationships between natural and social systems as portrayed in a seventh-grade science textbook that is widely adopted in middle schools in Georgia, United States. Results indicate that this science textbook offers outdated representations of natural systems’ relationships with social systems and the role of human agency in these relationships. We discuss implications of these textual representations and call for reformed science textbooks that underscore the ecological embeddedness of the social world.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Sharma
    • 1
  • Cory Buxton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Theory and PracticeUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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