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ERIC Number: EJ884186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
What's in a Name: Differential Labelling of Plant and Animal Photographs in Two Nationally Syndicated Elementary Science Textbook Series
Link-Perez, Melanie A.; Dollo, Vanessa H.; Weber, Kirk M.; Schussler, Elisabeth E.
International Journal of Science Education, v32 n9 p1227-1242 2010
This study investigated plant and animal photographs in elementary science textbooks to discern whether there were disparities in the number of plant and animal photographs or in how those photographs were labelled. We examined the Life Science sections of two nationally syndicated (USA) textbook series. For each text, we identified the photographs with plant and/or animal content and evaluated them for two features: (1) the subject of the photograph, and (2) the specificity of the label (name) provided. We found that photographs with animal subjects were more numerous than those with plant subjects; they also represented a greater diversity of animals and had a higher instance of repetition than did plant photographs. We also found a significant naming disparity: animal photographs were three times more likely to be provided with a specific label (common name) than were plant photographs. Not only were plant photographs less likely to be provided with a specific name for the plant (e.g. orchid or dandelion), but also they were commonly identified only by the name for a plant part (such as flower or leaf) or life-form (e.g. tree or shrub). To address the disparity revealed by this study, and to encourage student interest in and knowledge about plants, we recommend that educators go beyond textbooks to expose students to a diversity of named plants, and present plants as distinct organisms rather than as a collection of parts. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio