Informed by the possibilities that including a focus on the nature and history of science in science curricula fosters relevancy and increases motivation for students to learn science, this study used a conceptual framework of historical thinking to investigate the representation of the nature and history of science in 17 high school science textbooks. Findings revealed that the textbooks under study rarely explicated the nature of science and included inconstant descriptions of scientific inquiry. Additionally, these resources lacked focus on the progression of scientific ideas. We also noted significant emphasis on national origins of scientists. This, however, was often presented acontextually and resulted in few opportunities for students to learn about connections between scientists, collaborators and communities. Implications of this study include how textbook resources may hold the potential to help students see the relevance of science to their everyday lives, recognize the process of "doing" science and perhaps see themselves as closer to the real work of scientists. To capture that potential, however, concerted efforts are required to emphasize the nature and history of science in textbook resources.


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pp. 18-45
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