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ERIC Number: EJ884063
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
An Analysis of Misconceptions in Science Textbooks: Earth Science in England and Wales
King, Chris John Henry
International Journal of Science Education, v32 n5 p565-601 Mar 2010
Surveys of the earth science content of all secondary (high school) science textbooks and related publications used in England and Wales have revealed high levels of error/misconception. The 29 science textbooks or textbook series surveyed (51 texts in all) showed poor coverage of National Curriculum earth science and contained a mean level of one earth science error/misconception per page. Science syllabuses and examinations surveyed also showed errors/misconceptions. More than 500 instances of misconception were identified through the surveys. These were analysed for frequency, indicating that those areas of the earth science curriculum most prone to misconception are sedimentary processes/rocks, earthquakes/Earth's structure, and plate tectonics. For the 15 most frequent misconceptions, examples of quotes from the textbooks are given, together with the scientific consensus view, a discussion, and an example of a misconception of similar significance in another area of science. The misconceptions identified in the surveys are compared with those described in the literature. This indicates that the misconceptions found in college students and pre-service/practising science teachers are often also found in published materials, and therefore are likely to reinforce the misconceptions in teachers and their students. The analysis may also reflect the prevalence earth science misconceptions in the UK secondary (high school) science-teaching population. The analysis and discussion provide the opportunity for writers of secondary science materials to improve their work on earth science and to provide a platform for improved teaching and learning of earth science in the future. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)