Counteracting Misconceptions with Books
It’s not uncommon for students to hold misconceptions about what scientists look like, where science is done, or what scientists study. One way to address these topics and break down misconceptions about science and who does science is through thoughtfully chosen books. Drawing students' attention to a wide variety of scientists and fields can break down stereotypes and help them to see themselves in scientific fields.
There's so much diversity in who does science and how science is done!!!
The following questions can be helpful when considering what types of literature will best support students' understanding of scientific practices and fields:
- Do students experience a diverse community of scientists (gender, race, ability, nationality, religion)?
- Is science represented in multiple settings?
- Do students see scientists in varied fields?
- Do students identify with the content? Does it relate to their lives, interests?
These books may help you begin to explore these questions and more with students to extend their understanding.
Beyond Picture Books
- T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- The Seashell on the Mountaintop: How Nicolaus Steno solved an ancient mystery and created a science of the Earth by Alan Cutler
- The Ghost Map: The story of London’s most terrifying epidemic - and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world by Steven Johnson