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Teachers convey faulty quake lessons.

If many students across America don't know what causes earthquakes, the reason may lie in their teachers. So suggests a study reported last week. Katharyn E. K. Ross and Andrea S. Dargush of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research in Buffalo, N.Y., surveyed 45 elementary and secondary school teachers from Salt Lake City. They found teachers often held inaccurate beliefs about the causes of earthquakes and how best to respond to them. Ross and Dargush described their work at the Tenth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Madrid, Spain.

Thirty-one percent of the teachers agreed with the incorrect statement that quakes occur because the Earth's core moves to the surface. Slightly over half also answered that earthquakes stem from "the layers of the Earth fighting" -- a response that demonstrates confusion about earthquake analogies.

All those surveyed knew that people should get under a table and move away from windows during an earthquake. But almost a quarter said that people should go into a storm cellar, a tactic appropriate for tornadoes, not earthquakes.
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Title Annotation:teachers have inaccurate beliefs on earthquake causes
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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