The EAGLE project was a Euratom FP7 which helped to identify and disseminate good practices in information and communication processes related to ionizing radiation.
For this purpose, the consortium reviewed national and international data, tools and methods as well as institutional work in order to identify education, information and communication needs.
Generally in high school the first concepts on radioactivity and ionizing radiation (IR) are introduced mainly in the subjects of physics or physical chemistry.
There are a number of concepts in relation with IR and nuclear topics, and different ways to teach them: theoretical, mathematical, historical or practical. The question also rose, to what extend the various topics related to ionizing radiation (health, environment, history) are dealt with.
As already mentioned, all these questions let to the idea to compare the content dealing with radioactivity and nuclear topics in different physics school books and more specifically schoolbooks for high school students (in the age 17 to 18). The method was as follows:
- For the review the different partners of EAGLE have sent the schoolbooks used for the target group, or scanned documents.
- Spanish schoolbooks and English schoolbooks were purchased to extend the review to other EU countries.
- IRSN works in partnership with a high school based in the French town Vichy.
- Each book was analyzed in detail to list with precision the content. A matrix helped to compare them.
The paper presents the comparison of the contents of these books and their analysis. Some recommendations coming from the Eagle project will be discussed.