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TitleContextualized science teaching: do textbooks facilitate teachers’ job?
Author(s)Leite, Laurinda
Dourado, Luís Gonzaga Pereira
Morgado, Sofia Fernandes
Issue date2016
Abstract(s)Students’ interest in learning science is a matter of concern in several countries around the world. It has been argued that contextualizing science teaching is a way of fostering students’ interest in learning science. Science textbooks should help teachers to contextualize teaching. They could do it in different ways, namely through photographs, problems, history of science, learning activities, etc. However, there is a dilemma with textbooks contextualization: textbooks are targeted to national use and contextualization should be local so that it can be meaningful for students of a diversity of school areas. A consequence of this is that, the same science theme should be contextualized differently in different countries. This research focused on how Portuguese, Brazilian and Mozambican textbooks contextualize chemical reactions in order to find out whether or not teacher can rely on the contextualization they suggest. Thus, chemistry textbooks that are being used in schools, from eight grade to 11th grade (or equivalent) in those three countries were analysed with regard to the contextualization they do and the way they do it. Results suggest that Portuguese textbooks use much more contextualizing tools than the other countries textbooks do. Besides, the contextualizing elements are too general, whatever the country, and therefore may have a reduced added educational value. It should be noted that the learning activities given in the Brazilian science textbooks tend to concentrate on the interrelationship between science and society a bit more than the Portuguese or the Mozambican textbooks do. Therefore, teachers cannot simply rely on the textbooks if they are to put contextualized science teaching into practice. However, textbooks include some bits of information that can be developed if teachers are aware of the relevance of contextualizing teaching. A consequence of this is that teacher educators should find ways of training prospective teachers as well as in-service teachers to deal with contextualized science teaching and to take the most from the assigned textbook with regard to contextualized science teaching.
TypePanel presentation
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CIEd - Outros documentos/Other documents

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