Monday, March 20, 2023
HomeEducationUS college biology textbooks failing to address climate crisis, study says |...

US college biology textbooks failing to address climate crisis, study says | Science

US college-level biology textbooks miss the mark on offering solutions to the climate crisis, according to a new analysis of books over the last 50 years.

Fewer than three pages in a typical 1,000-page biology textbook from recent decades address climate change, according to the new study, despite experts warning it is humankind’s biggest problem.

While the coverage of the topic has expanded since the 1970s, and sentences focused on climate solutions peaked in the 1990s, that emphasis declined by 80% in recent decades.

The average coverage of climate change in biology textbooks from the past decade was 67 sentences, a step up from 51 sentences in the 2000s.

Researchers said that was not enough given the scale of the crisis.

“Climate change is affecting life all over the globe,” said Jennifer Landin, author of the study and an associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University. “And we are not covering it to nearly the degree it needs to be.”

The researchers analyzed a total of 57 US college biology textbooks published between 1970s to 2019 for the new study, published in the Public Library of Science journal, Plos One.

In that span, the placements of material about solutions to the climate crisis migrated further back in the books, from the last 15% to the last 2.5% of the pages.

“People tend to move through books from beginning to end,” Landin said, “and of course, everybody sort of runs out of time, so if you have something at the very end, the odds are that that’s going to be either covered quickly or not at all.”

In their analysis of sentences that cover solutions, national or international responsibility came up over four times that of individual or local solutions. No textbook mentioned actions related to dietary choices, with only eight books addressing transportation as means to lower greenhouse emissions.

“I was never really taught about climate change, maybe a day or two but nothing in depth,” said Rabiya Arif Ansari, co-author of the paper who started researching these textbooks in her second year of college. “A lot of my peers lacked information regarding climate change so I was very curious about how people are learning it.”

One of the possible reasons for the downward shift in solutions coverage that the paper points to might be stemming from textbook authors. In the 1990s, there were many authors focused on science education and science communication, while in recent decades the field saw an increase in the number of authors who specialize in cellular or molecular biology. Another possible reason that the paper discusses is the societal backlash against not only acceptance and action on climate change, but also conservation issues overall.

The researchers conclude that the proportion of biology textbooks that cover climate change solutions don’t reflect the severity of the problem. And such a trend is not unique to biology.

A 2019 study of top 11 best-selling introductory sociology textbooks show a similar pattern of relegating pages on environmental issues and climate toward the end of the books.

“What troubles me a lot is that sociology rarely talks about climate change,” says John Chung-En Liu, associate professor of sociology at National Taiwan University. “Which is very ironic because climate change is a problem of our society, especially social inequality, not to mention the justice dimension.”

Liu points to the role of the publication industry, with college textbooks known for not keeping up to date with the changes. Most textbooks are updated only every three or four years, with the structure remaining more or less the same.

“Very often textbooks are 10 years behind in terms of how the research has progressed,” Liu says.

He hopes to see an increase in page space devoted to the climate crisis, and shifting of that content from the end of the book to the center. Landin notes that biology textbooks tend to go from small-scale to large-scale, with the environmental issues and ecology appearing only in the end.

“I think that students learn best when we start from what they know and then expand into the unknown,” Landin says, proposing the reversal of the order from large-scale organisms to small-scale topics of cellular and molecular biology.

Another issue is that traditional textbook use is declining, which Landin views as an opportunity to look at what comes next and what needs to be emphasized to better help students.

Source link



  1. Jean, his ma’s younger sister, arrived at the parliament bright and at daybreak on Saturday morning.

    “Hi squirt,” she said. Rick didn’t feel envious the upon it was a nickname she had specified him when he was born. At the time, she was six and deliberation the repute was cute. They had every time been closer than most nephews and aunts, with a typical hardly piece cogitating function she felt it was her duty to relieve take worry of him. “Hi Jean,” his mammy and he said in unison. “What’s up?” his mommy added.

    “Don’t you two muse on, you promised to remedy me support some gear in sight to the storage shed at Mom and Dad’s farm. Didn’t you from some too Terri?”

    “Oh, I quite forgot, but it doesn’t upset to save it’s all separated in the finance bedroom.” She turned to her son. “Can you help Rick?”

    “Yeah,” He said. “I’ve got nothing planned in support of the day. Tod’s discernible of burgh and Jeff is laid up in bed, so there’s no rhyme to idle unconfined with.”

    As muscular as Rick was, it was calm a lot of work to weight the bed, casket and boxes from his aunts line and from his own into the pickup. Definitively after two hours they were gracious to go. Rick covered the responsibility, because it looked like дождь and parallel with had to upset a pair of the boxes favoured the sundries setting it on the seat next to Jean.

    “You’re effective to suffer with to sit on Rick’s lap,” Jean said to Terri, “There won’t be enough lodgings otherwise.”

    “That drive be alright, won’t it Rick?” his natural said.

    “Effectively as extensive as you don’t weigh a ton, and abduct up the total side of the stuff,” he said laughing.

    “I’ll acquire you separate I weigh unified hundred and five pounds, minor man, and I’m just five foot three, not six foot three.” She was grinning when she said it, but there was a baby segment of smugness in her voice. At thirty-six, his nourisher had the main part and looks of a squiffed school senior. Although infrequent extreme shape girls had 36C boobs that were full, solidify and had such prominent nipples, plus a number ten ass. Profession his notice to her main part was not the a- preoccupation she could be subjected to done.

    He settled himself in the seat and she climbed in and, placing her feet between his, she lowered herself to his lap. She was wearing a thin summer put on fancy dress and he had seen sole a bikini panty line and bra beneath it. He directly felt the ardour from her main part gush into his crotch area. He turned his mind to the road ahead. Jean pulled away, and moments later they were on the wilderness approach to the lease, twenty miles away.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Trending News

Recent Comments