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Revista electrónica de investigación en educación en ciencias

On-line version ISSN 1850-6666


MONTEIRO, Maria Amélia  and  NARDI, Roberto. Galileo's contributions to astronomy in the approaches of physics textbooks: an analysis from the perspective of the nature of science. Rev. electrón. investig. educ. cienc. [online]. 2015, vol.10, n.1, pp.58-72. ISSN 1850-6666.

The purpose of the research reported here was to analyze the way that the authors of thirteen Brazilian basic education physics textbooks deal with Galileo's contributions to astronomy. Before the goal, we elaborate research questions and we base on benchmarks in the history of science, as well as the nature of science. Regarding the methodological procedures, we based ourselves on content analysis and organize the approaches of textbooks in three categories, namely: those that do not mention Galileo's contributions to astronomy; those that mention Galileo's contributions, however, the disjointed context and finally, and those relating to Galileo's contributions associating them with the emergence of Copernicanism and the collapse of Aristotelianism. We noticed that most of the analyzed textbooks cite Galileo's contributions to astronomy and mention other pertinent events in the context of that production. However, refer to these as disjointed facts with each other and the wider context, not allowing the nature of science is evident in a wide perspective. The approaches resemble as rhetorical conclusions. We noted also that, as regards the references to observational data built by Galileo are treated in an empiricist-inductive epistemological perspective, ignoring the theoretical presuppositions that with respect to interpret the data. To some extent, the approaches of textbooks on Galileo's contributions to astronomy incorporate a restricted view about the nature of science, distancing themselves from the conditions of a critical scientific and technological education.

Keywords : Galilean astronomy; Nature of science; Physics textbooks.

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