Errors in science textbook stump teachers, students

Errors in science textbook stump teachers, students

With errors galore in science textbook as well, Class X students of State schools, as also tutors, are in for a sticky time, both teaching and assimilating the subject rightly.

That mathematics and English textbooks also had similar inaccuracies aplenty is another matter.  

Right from spelling mistakes to erroneous attributions, science textbook speaks of apathetic attention paid by proof readers and those behind its preparation, before the book actually goes to print.

Many instances

For instance, the textbook states that human body’s blood platelets perform ‘clothing’ of blood, while it should be ‘clotting’ (Page 89).

In the chapter on ‘Properties of Glass,’ (Page 138, Point No 2) the line goes thus, “glass is shining because of smooth surface, it can be brightened by polishing. Glass can have a smooth surface which can be polished.”In Page 250, under “commonly used alloys”, constituents of bronze mentions “copper + zinc + tin”.

“This is wrong, as only copper and tin are constituents of bronze and not zinc,” observes science teacher Dr Padmanabhan of Ramana Vidyaniketan High School, Ramamurthy Nagar.A diagram on the working of steam engine in the chapter on heat engines (Page 113), the piston rod is wrongly depicted as crankshaft.

Likewise, the chapter on cartilage in Page 87, the diagram showing hyaline cartilage, according to Dr Padmanabhan, looks more like elastic cartilage, another classification of cartilage.

“The explantation on classification of the types of cartilages is also confusing and could have been clearer,” he said. On Page 82, a classification of three kinds of muscular tissue is given as “striped muscles,” “unstriped muscles” and “cardiac muscles.”

“While they are not factually wrong, this classification of muscle tissues is rarely used. They are normally classified as skeletal, smooth and cardiac tissues or striated, unstriated and cardiac tissues,” BGS Global Oncology Institute Senior Consultant Oncologist Dr Vishal Rao said.

Teachers cite mistakes

Prof M R Nagaraju, one of the chairpersons of the Textbook Committee on Science, Karnataka Textbook Society, concedes that a number of such errors had been pointed not only by him, but also by many teachers.

He cites the example of the topic on diesel engine on Page 118, as also another on types of motion. Observing that a majority of errors are “printing errors,” he said, proof reading was not done by professionals and added that unless the Society had a printing unit of its own, the problem would persist.

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