Misconceptions or a lack of relevant prior concepts can hinder students from developing an understanding of scientific concepts. Science education research suggests that building on students' prior concepts is an effective way to develop students' scientific knowledge. This study reports the results of an analysis of earth and environmental science textbooks' representations of climate change concepts and an examination of these presentations for possible contribution to students' common misconceptions of climate change. A literature review was conducted to identify students' common misconceptions of climate change. Textbooks' conceptual coverage and their ways of presenting scientific conceptions were examined concerning their potential influence on further reinforcing and adding greater confidence to students' misconceptions. Our results indicate that the reviewed textbooks were not designed based on careful consideration of students' common misconceptions of climate change. We made recommendations for improving the conceptual clarity and organization of climate change concepts in Earth and environmental science textbooks.

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Footnotes

Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana