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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Much of the point of science is explaining phenomena in terms of a small number of principles or ideas. For students to appreciate this explanatory power, they need to have a sense of the range of phenomena that science can explain. Effective teaching provides students with opportunities to relate the scientific concepts they are studying to a range of appropriate phenomena through hands-on activities, demonstrations, audiovisual aids, and discussions of familiar phenomena (Anderson & Smith, 1987). Appropriate phenomena help students to view scientific concepts as plausible, or enhance students' sense of the usefulness of scientific concepts (Strike & Posner, 1985; Champagne, Gunstone, & Klopfer, 1985; Anderson & Smith, 1987). Students can learn more readily about things that are tangible and accessible to their senses. Thus students, especially younger ones, will benefit most from firsthand experiences with the phenomena (Boulanger, 1981; Wise & Okey, 1983; Kyle, Bonnstetter, Gadsden, & Shymansky, 1988). Criteria in this category examine whether the material (a) relates important scientific ideas to a range of relevant phenomena, and (b) provides experiences with the phenomena directly through firsthand experiences and tries to give students a vicarious sense of phenomena that are not presented firsthand.

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