Go to Project 2061's Web site (requires Internet connection). Project 2061
Middle and High School Science Textbooks
A Standards-Based Evaluation

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Does the material convey the purpose of each lesson/activity and its relationship to others?

Explanation. The issue here is whether the purpose of individual lessons (e.g., readings, laboratory activities that occupy one or two class periods) is made apparent to the students and whether there are logical transitions and connections between lessons. If a classroom visitor asked students what they were doing and why, is it likely that they would know?

The purpose of individual activities and readings could be brought out through the text, notes to the teacher, and/or suggested responses to questions in the text. For example, the purpose of measuring the temperature of a cup of melting ice cubes—to test predictions about the melting point—might be brought out by text explanation, teacher explanation, or by the students coming up with the procedure as a way of testing their ideas.

For the material to receive full credit for this criterion, it should also provide students with opportunities to think about and discuss the purposes of lessons (not just listen to or read them) and how they relate to the unit purpose.

Indicators of meeting the criterion

  1. The material conveys or prompts teachers to convey the purpose of the activity to students.
  2. The purpose is expressed in a way that is likely to be comprehensible to students.
  3. The material encourages each student to think about the purpose of the activity.
  4. The material conveys or prompts teachers to convey to students how the activity relates to the unit purpose.
  5. The material engages students in thinking about what they have learned so far and what they need to learn/do next at appropriate points.

Rating Scheme
Excellent: The material meets all indicators.
Satisfactory: The material meets any three out of the five indicators.
Poor: The material meets no more than one out of the five indicators.

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