HOW STATIC MEDIA IS UNDERSTOOD AND USED BY HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS
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The purpose of is study is to explore the role of static media in textbooks, defined as printed images and text (Mayer, 2001), and how these media are viewed and used by high school science teachers. Since textbooks appeared in the late 1800s, pictorial aids have been used in them to support the teacher’s work in the classroom (Giordano, 2003). The research on textbooks prior to the 1970s doesn’t present relevant work related to their curricular role, quality, or instructional design (Woodward, Elliott, and Nagel, 1988/2013). Since then there has been abundant research on the use of visual images in textbooks that has been approached from: (a) the text/image ratio (Evans, Watson, & Willows, 1987; Levin & Mayer, 1993; Mayer, 1993; Woodward, 1993), and (b) the instructional effectiveness of images (Woodward, 1993). The theoretical framework for this study comes from multimedia learning (Mayer, 2001), information design (Pettersson, 2002), and visual literacy (Moore & Dwyer, 1994). Data was collected through in-depth interviews of three high school science teachers and the graphic analyses of three textbooks used by them. The interview data were compared through an analytic model developed from the literature, and the graphic analyses were performed using Mayer’s multimedia learning principles (Mayer, 2001) and the Graphic Analysis Protocol (GAP) (Slough & McTigue, 2013). The conclusions of this study are: (1) pictures are specially useful for teaching science because science is a difficult subject to teach, (2) due this difficulty, pictures are very important to make the class dynamic and avoid students distraction, (3) static and dynamic media when used together can be more effective, (4) some specific type of graphics were found in the science textbooks used by the participants, in this case naturalistic drawings, stylized drawings, scale diagram, flow chart – cycle, flow chart – sequence, and hybrids, no photographs were found, (5) graphics can be related not only to the general text but specifically to the captions, (6) the textbooks analyzed had a balanced proportion of text and graphics, and (7) to facilitate the text-graphics relationship the spatial contiguity of both elements is key to their semantic integration.