The Pendulum as Presented in School Science Textbooks of Greece and Cyprus

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When we refer to scientific knowledge, we, implicitly or explicitly, refer to its three components, namely its conceptual framework, its methodological principles and its cultural aspects. The pendulum is a topic of science teaching and learning where all three of these aspects can be examined with the aim of gaining a holistic appreciation of the transformation of a natural phenomenon into a phenomenon of the physical sciences and how this can then be recontextualized into a topic of school science learning. The main objective of this study is to examine whether this richness of the pendulum as a topic of teaching is revealed in the school science textbooks in Greece and Cyprus, for both primary and secondary education. We will use an analytical mapping instrument in order to determine, whether the pendulum is introduced at some grade level and, if so, in what context. We will then use an interpretive instrument, which relies on taxonomy of science curricula into traditional, innovative and constructivist programs, in order to attach meaning to the analysis. Finally, we will formulate a series of proposals in relation to the educational value of the simple pendulum at the Greek and Cypriot gymnasium level.

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