American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(1), 44-49DOI:
Abstract: The purpose of this paper was to analyze grade 7 and 8 physics student textbooks for Ethiopian schools. The study was conducted based on the comments collected from the school teachers during physics handbook familiarization workshops. In addition, the Ministry of Education demands that textbooks currently in use as well as those that will be produced in the future will be greatly improved or revised. The main method of the research employed was content analysis. The different categories of grade 7 and 8 physics textbooks such as learning objectives, activities, figures and diagrams, text narratives, unit summaries, and end-of-unit exercises were sampled. Quantitative analysis techniques were employed and index values for students’ involvement were calculated. In addition, open-ended questionnaires were prepared, distributed, and collected from teachers and students to triangulate the data obtained from the six sample aspects of the textbooks. The data obtained from the textbooks were analyzed quantitatively and interpreted based on the index value interpretation guideline adapted from literature. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed qualitatively and used to support the quantitative data. The results revealed that learning objectives were stated in all the units in the textbooks. In addition, the figures, diagrams, other drawings, and points that demand emphasis were put in attractive colors that grasp students for reading. However, the other aspects of the textbooks were found to have limitations. These aspects of the textbooks emphasized on memorization of facts, explanations, principles; the activities had immediate answers in the textbooks; figures and diagrams concentrated mainly for illustrative purpose; review questions and problems demanded simple memory and mere mathematical calculations based on previous learning of formulas; summaries reflected main points in the text narratives and limited to raise new questions and up-to-date scientific researches. Accordingly, conclusions were drawn and recommendations for further improvements and revisions were forwarded.