The purpose of this study was to compare the biology contents of elementary schools science textbooks between Korea and Japan. To this end, the organization of subject matter and the type, process and context of inquiry activities were analyzed. The findings of this study were as follows: First, the sheer number of topics presented at each grade level was considerable and the contents of science textbooks were fixed in a set form in Korea. However, the organization and development of contents were made by considering the state of things and seasons in the case of Japan. Second, the amount of inquiry activities in Korea was higher, but the relationship between concepts and inquiry activities was lower than in Japan. Third, actually conducting (or 'doing') inquiry type activities was highest in Korea, on the other hand, 'experimenting' appeared to have a higher priority in Japan. Fourth, inquiry processes of activities in each country were very similar, in that the ratio of performing an inquiry was high, and perceiving a problem or designing an inquiry was low. Fifth, the results of analyzing the inquiry contexts of activities showed that the framework of evaluating inquiry activities based on curriculum objectives should be provided in the earlier stages of science textbook development.
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