2019 年 43 巻 2 号 p. 187-204
The nature of science (NOS) has become a priority in school science education worldwide and is currently considered essential for achieving a high level of scientific literacy. The present study analyzed and compared biology textbooks (molecular-biology related topics) used at the upper secondary level in Japan and Canada to determine whether NOS was sufficiently presented. This analysis showed that Canadian textbooks covered a much wider range of the NOS than Japanese textbooks. These findings also indicate that, in both countries, three NOS aspects (the empirical nature, the difference between observation and inference, and the cumulative and collaborative nature of scientific knowledge) were relatively well described, while two NOS aspects (the involvement of creativity and imagination and social and cultural embeddedness) occurred less. One of the striking differences between the two countries was the occurrence of theory-laden nature and subjectivity: It was well described in Canadian textbooks, but rarely found in Japanese textbooks. Overall analysis found that the degree of emphasis on each NOS aspect differed by country, and further suggested the importance of incorporating NOS acquisition into national curricula.