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MiTEP List of Common Geoscience Misconceptions


The Michigan Teacher Excellence Program (MiTEP) has developed a list of common geoscience misconceptions organized by the Earth Science Literacy Principles. Along with the list of misconceptions, MiTEP shares here a tool used to help teachers learn to identify and probe misconceptions, and how to guide students in reconstructing their knowledge.

The misconceptions are grouped under the following Seven Big Ideas:
  1. Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet.
  2. Earth is 4.6 billion years old.
  3. Earth is a complex system of interacting rock, water, air, and life.
  4. Earth is continuously changing.
  5. Earth is a water planet.
  6. Life evolves on a dynamic Earth and continuously modifies Earth.
  7. Humans depend on Earth for resources.