Textbooks in California Portray Science behind Climate Change Wrongly

Textbooks in California Portray Science behind Climate Change Wrongly

Researchers at the Stanford University through a recently conducted study have found that some textbooks in California misrepresent the actual science behind climate change.

According to the paper published in the Environmental Education Research Journal, the textbooks analyzed during the study presented the public debate about climate change and not the scientific reality behind it.

KC Busch, a doctoral candidate in science education at Stanford Graduate School of Education, said, “We found that through language choices, the text portrayed climate change as uncertain along several lines, such as whether climate change was happening, whether humans were causing it and what the effects will be”.

Busch is co-author of the study along with Diego Román, assistant professor of education at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Busch and Román during a recent poll found that only 54% of American teens believed that climate change is actually happening, and only 43% of them believed that it is happening due to human activities.

Researchers for their study measured how four sixth-grade science textbooks commonly used in California presented climate change. The books studied were Focus on Earth Science (Prentice Hall, 2008), Focus on Earth Science (Glencoe-McGraw-Hill, 2007), Focus on Earth Science (CPO Science, 2007) and Earth Science (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2007).

Busch and Román found the textbooks communicated that climate change might be happening and that humankind may or may not be causing it. The textbooks nowhere mentioned about the need for quick action against the threat of climate change, Busch and Román said.

The textbooks also portrayed scientists as not doing the work of science. Study researchers believe that such a view on climate change can reduce the sense of urgency for students to do something about the issue.

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