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Analysis of Science Writing Tasks in Korean and American Science Textbooks

한국과 미국의 초등과학 교과서 과학 글쓰기 과제 분석

  • Received : 2012.09.17
  • Accepted : 2012.11.17
  • Published : 2012.11.30

Abstract

This study is intended to investigate the frequency of scientific writing tasks in Korean and American science textbooks, to compare the differences in types of posing the writing tasks according to the level of the children's scientific cognition, and to analyze the differences in the organization and development of writing ones of each chapter and thus to propose an effective way of presenting scientific writing in science textbooks. Korean 'Science' and 'Experiment Observation Workbook'and Macmillan Mcgraw-Hill(MMH) Science for fourth graders were analyzed for the purpose. The results are as follows: First, Korean textbooks contain more science writing tasks per pages, and less per chapters than MMH one. Both text books provide balanced amount of science writing tasks, yet MMH especially does systematic exercises for each chapter. Second, the qualitative analysis of the textbooks' scientific writing shows that both textbooks contain a significant amount of "understanding" and "explanatory" writing, which reflects that the purpose of writing in science textbooks is leaning towards acquiring and verifying scientific concepts. In American textbooks, however, writings utilizing extensive cognition process and materials are also present. It is necessary for textbooks to present diverse and expressive writing assignments including personal opinions. Third, there are differences in organization and development of science writing tasks. Science writing tasks in Korean textbooks are present independently with lesson objectives of the chapters and practices, while those in MMH are systematically developed. Based on these results, it is necessary to systemize the textbooks' way of presenting writing tasks for effective teaching and learning. By organizing the writing materials and thus developing diverse materials, and by implementing extensive cognitive process in the writing activities, textbooks will be able to contribute in attracting the students' interests and in improving their scientific knowledge.