Do Norwegian Textbooks for Compulsory Education Promote Geological System Thinking?

Pål J. Kirkeby Hansen


Geology is one of many topics in the Norwegian curricula for Natural Science and Geography in compulsory education. System thinking is a strategy to promote conceptual development. The purpose of this study is to investigate how geological systems are presented in Norwegian science and geography textbooks for years 1-10. The geological system for oil and gas formation is explicit in the curriculum; the plate tectonic cycle and the rock cycle are not. 13 best-selling textbook were examined showing that single components of geology are introduced at years 1-4. Elements and processes of rock formation and plate tectonics are introduced at years 5-7 and further developed at years 8-10. Oil and gas formation have a short introduction at years 8-10. The textbooks do cover the geology aims in the curriculum satisfactory except for oil and gas formation. One textbook presents the whole rock cycle, and one the plate tectonic cycle. The other textbooks present elements and processes but not as holistic geological cyclic systems.

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