A comparative analysis of selected biology textbooks used in Turkey, focusing on genetics chapters and their inclusion of nature of science
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Textbooks are used widely in classrooms all around the world. Some teachers treat their textbooks as the curriculum and plan their entire teaching according to the textbook. Hence, textbooks should meet the teaching needs of the teachers, while at the same time meeting the learning needs of students. This study aims to compare the genetics-related chapters of four selected biology textbooks widely used in Turkish classrooms: two used by the Ministry of Education (MoNE) and two used for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The textbooks were evaluated according to the criteria published by Turkish Board of Education (TTKB). In addition, the online materials provided with the textbooks and introduction of Nature of Science (NoS) in these textbooks were investigated. The analysis was done on genetics-related chapters, using qualitative content analysis for data collection. The findings of the study showed that all four of the textbooks generally complied with the criteria, however there were some discrepancies. There were some scientific mistakes in both IBDP textbooks. Similarly, there were mistakes in the online materials provided by MoNE textbooks. Finally, the introduction of NoS was analyzed using a modified framework. The findings showed that none of the textbooks had balanced representation of NoS. Overall, none of the textbooks fully complied with the criteria. Thus, teachers and students should be mindful of the findings of this study when using these textbooks for their teaching and learning.