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Representations of Nature of Science in New Korean Science Textbooks: The Case of ‘Scientific Inquiry and Experimentation’

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Science Education in the 21st Century

Abstract

Nature of science (NOS) is becoming a core component of both science education research and curriculum policy around the globe. In particular, how textbooks should portray NOS aspects have been of keen interest to science educators. This chapter outlines the background and motivations for Korea’s new compulsory subject, scientific inquiry and experimentation (SIE), and analyses how textbooks for this subject present NOS aspects using historical episodes. The aim is to help textbook authors and policymakers by examining the opportunities and challenges of Korea’s new NOS curricular initiative. The results indicate that textbooks tend to focus on the cognitive and epistemic characteristics of science, with a limited representation of social and institutional NOS aspects. While textbooks often included multiple NOS aspects that underlie each historical episode, in most cases, these aspects were only implicitly addressed without proper cues for students’ reflection about them. Based on these findings, we discuss implications for textbook authors and science teachers.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The introduction of SIE lies in the context of a larger curricular move from the traditional two-track (humanity track and science track) system to an integrated system that allows students to experience diverse domains of human knowledge (MOE 2015b; Song and Na 2015). SIE serves this aim by bringing together the ‘human’ aspects of science, including its method, relevance and social impact.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016S1A3A2925401).

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Correspondence to Jinwoong Song .

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Yang, S., Park, W., Song, J. (2020). Representations of Nature of Science in New Korean Science Textbooks: The Case of ‘Scientific Inquiry and Experimentation’. In: Teo, T.W., Tan, AL., Ong, Y.S. (eds) Science Education in the 21st Century. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5155-0_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5155-0_2

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