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J. Pinheiro Peixinho, R. Marques Vieira

Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
In a technological and scientific society that is constantly changing, it is crucial that every citizen be provided with scientific and technological literacy, towards science education. The scientific and technological literacy should be developed within the first years of schooling since each individual should learn a range of scientific and technological information. This enables them to understand some important phenomena of the world they live in as well as make informed and conscious decisions in a perspective of shared social responsibility (Martins et al, 2007).

These cultural, humanistic and civic guidelines, scarred by problems that highlight the interrelationships between science, society and technology, which involve the mobilisation of knowledge, attitudes and skills of decision making and problem solving, refer to a curriculum of education in sciences, orientated towards Science-Technology-Society [STS] and towards developing knowledge of Critical Thinking [CT] (Vieira, Tenreiro-Vieira e Martins, 2011; Tenreiro-Vieira e Vieira, 2012).

However, despite this clear recognition on behalf of researchers regarding the importance of science education with STS / CT orientation, the existence of educational resources is low, especially textbooks that proliferate in the Portuguese educational context, provided with the help of STS / CT (Vieira et al, 2011).

Thus, aware of the role of the textbook in the teaching and learning process, this study aims to develop a digital textbook [DT] of science education for the first cycle of basic education. This DT will focus on a pedagogical/didactic approach based on the principles of a science education with STS / CT orientation. Along with the technology and multimedia potentials, it is intended that this DT lead to an improvement of the teaching and learning of science education with STS / CT orientation, hoping to encourage the increase in scientific and technological literacy of the students attending the first cycle of basic education.

The development of this DT will include several stages, and will include input from various intervening parties, namely experts in educational multimedia/technology, teaching experts in the fields of science, teachers and students in the first cycle of basic education.

This multifaceted and synergistic aspect of the intervening parties, translated into the different stages of the digital textbook development, will become an asset to ensure that the specificities, both technical and pedagogical/didactic, inherent to the quality of a DT are contemplated.
One of those steps includes the development of an assessment tool for textbooks of science education which intends to illustrate the possible criteria that teachers (as users of textbooks) and authors / editors (as producers of textbooks) may follow in the analysis of DT in science education. These criteria should be contemplated in the DT in order to promote the quality of both teaching and learning.

This tool to assess the digital textbook will contemplate three categories:
1) General aspects;
2) Aspects related to technology/multimedia educational;
3) Pedagogical and didactical aspects related to science education.

In this conference, the focus of this presentation will be to share and obtain feedback from other intervening parties and experts on this DT assessment tool of sciences for the first cycle of basic education, in order to improve and adjust it, so that it is as internationally adapted as possible.