Analysis of the Questions of Greek Physics Textbooks from a Content Perspective

By Lemonia Sapountzi and Michael Skoumios.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2014 $US5.00

Because of the extensive use of science textbooks in instruction and the dominant role of textbook questions in learning science content, it becomes imperative to examine the questions of science textbooks. The purpose of this study is to analyze the questions of two secondary school physics textbooks in Greece (aimed at 14-year-old students), from a content perspective. For this purpose, 841 questions totally from both textbooks (317 from the first textbook and 524 from the second) were detected and analyzed. The analysis of the questions from a content perspective was realized with the help of a coding scheme based on the descriptions of the curriculum emphases given by Van Driel, Bulte, and Verloop (2007). Each question was coded according to one of the three curriculum emphases discerned: “Fundamental Physics”, “Physics, Technology and Society” or “Knowledge Development in Physics”. This analysis has allowed the recording of the distribution of the questions in the physics textbooks according to the above coding scheme. It was found that both textbooks’ questions appeared to focus relatively most on “Fundamental Physics”, and relatively least on “Physics, Technology and Society” and “Knowledge Development in Physics”. The above results can be useful for both science teachers and school textbooks authors as well. The study concludes with a discussion and recommendations for future research.

Keywords: Physics Textbooks, Science Education, Textbook Questions

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.85-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 651.559KB)).

Lemonia Sapountzi

Teacher, Postgraduate Student, Department of Primary Education, University of Aegean, Greece

Lemonia Sapountzi obtained a first degree in Physics from the University of Ioannina in 2011. Currently she is working on a master degree in Education in the University of Aegean. Her research interests include the evaluation of secondary school physics textbooks. She is currently teaching Physics at Agras Secondary School (Lesvos-Greece).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Lecturer, Department of Primary Education, University of Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Michael Skoumios obtained a first degree in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1987, a second degree in Education from the University of Aegean in 1992 and his PhD in Science Education from the Hellenic Open University in 2005. His research interests include science concept learning and teaching science in primary and secondary schools. He is currently teaching Science Education in the Department of Primary Education of the University of the Aegean (Greece).