Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE credits
A Socio-scientific issue (SSI) is a controversial issue that engages with both science and society. SSIs are very useful tools in school education since they can improve students’ scientific knowledge and literacy, as well as promote critical thinking. In Afghanistan the curriculum is heavily textbook-driven. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to investigate if and which kind of SSIs, that are used in Afghan science textbooks. Since these textbooks are newly revised it is important to investigate whether the textbooks are in line with recent findings of science education research.
A mixed-method approach including both qualitative and quantitative research methods was used. All available 22 science textbooks in all science subjects (i.e. biology, physics, chemistry, geology and health and environmental science) of grade 4-12 were collected for the analysis. First the presence of SSI topics, and thereafter analysis of SSI topics by using the SEE-SEP model as a framework, was carried out. Second the frequency of using an SSI perspective in the textbooks, the distribution of SSI between subjects, topics, grades and school levels was established. Also the inclusion of global respectively local perspectives on SSI issues was analyzed.
The result showed that Afghan science textbooks seldom include a SSI perspective since it was found in only 6 % of the textbook chapters. Most of these SSI topics were included in the textbooks of the school subjects’ of biology and health and environmental science, but rarely present in chemistry and physics. Regarding school level the majority of SSI topics were found in upper secondary textbooks, but the proportion of chapters including SSIs were higher in upper primary textbooks. An even distribution between local and global perspectives was found. Concerning the nature of the SSI-topics they referred mostly to issues within science (35%), environment (27%) and ethics (20 %), but reference was made only in few occasions to economy, sociology and policy. Implications for research and education are discussed. As relaying of different subjects areas in afghan science education regarding SSI, found SSI topics in different school grades, levels and various subjects discussed.
In the end of this study, besides conclusion I recommend other important aspects of textbooks to be considered in future studies, as maybe there are other features of textbooks which make interesting of further studies. As well as, there are many other science textbooks in different educational level (science textbooks of TTC and university) which are not explored in this research and needed to be analyzed.