2008 年 32 巻 1 号 p. 27-38
In this paper, we studied animals introduced as teaching materials in forty-eight elementary school science textbooks from the notion of "biodiversity", aiming at development of textbooks that will enhance children's interest in nature. These textbooks were edited by six different textbook publishers on the basis of The National Course of Study, which was revised in 1998, and published in 2002 and 2005. Here, editing of the textbooks published in 2005 were influenced by a partial revision of The National Course of Study in 2003. In this study, we investigated animals (e.g. birds, fishes, and insects) introduced for observations and experiments in different grades under the notion of "biodiversity" from various viewpoints such as species, number, growth profiles in different seasons, timing of laying eggs, emergence, hatching, and birth. The results of the study are as follows: Most animals are suitable as teaching materials for observations and experiments in these textbooks. They are popular species seen in daily lives. They are born in spring and become competent to produce progeny by autumn, and thereby suitable for observation from spring. However, there are several exceptions. For example, "Japanese rhinoceros beetle (Trypoxylus dichotomus)" and "Great purple emperor (Sasakia charonda)" are difficult to find in cities due to shortage of trees, "Black-spotted pond frog (Rana nigromaculata)" is not found in nature over Kanto region, and "Silk moth (Bombyx mort)" can not be seen intrinsically in nature. It is necessary to pay attention to these characteristics when these animals will be introduced as teaching materials in school science textbooks. However, the number of animals treated in textbooks increased generally in the textbooks published in 2005 compared with those in 2002. It will be a favorable change for children to understand the notion of "biodiversity". Finally, an expectation is stated, on the occasion of revision of The National Course of Study in 2008, for the development of new textbooks enhancing the notion of "biodiversity" on the base of strengthening function of textbooks as "learning materials" for children.