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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Glencoe Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1997
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis

Glencoe Life Science is one of three components of the Glencoe science program, which distributes physical, Earth, and life science topics across the middle grades.

The program has been evaluated in terms of how well its content matches each of three topic-specific sets of key science ideas, and how well it provides effective instructional material in terms of a set of universal criteria for the teaching of science ideas. This report on the Glencoe program assesses the program’s life science component.

The life science idea set focuses on the transformations of matter and energy in living systems, including organisms and ecosystems. In Glencoe Life Science, the material relating to these key ideas is to be found in several chapters: in the context of describing the needs of all living things (chapter 1), in the context of presenting cell processes (chapter 3), in the context of describing how cyanobacteria (chapter 8) and algae (chapter 9) obtain food, in the context of describing plant parts and processes (chapters 11 and 12), in the context of ecosystems (chapter 18), and in the context of structures and functions the human body (chapters 22 and 24). However, as described below, the presentation of the ideas occurs mainly in text and makes only token mention of changes in matter. Furthermore, the ideas are presented as isolated processes of cells, organs, ecosystems, or human organisms rather than as instances of general principles of matter and energy transformation.

The other two sections of this report—the Content Analysis and the Instructional Analysis—summarize the results of the evaluation of Glencoe Life Science’s content and instructional efficacy.

In both sections, within-the-text page references to the evaluated materials have been clarified by the use of letter suffixes: “s” denotes the student text (as in “p. 18s”), and “t” denotes the Teacher Wraparound Edition (as in “p. 18t”); where “T” appears as part of a page reference (as in “p. 15T”), it denotes the Teacher’s Guide within the Teacher Wraparound Edition.

The reference works cited in this report are given as complete citations in the References list, along with those cited in other reports in this document. The References list can be accessed by clicking on the link at the beginning of each content and instructional analysis. To view a specific research reference while reading the content and instructional analyses, simply click on the in-text citation.

The key science ideas and the instructional analysis categories are presented and discussed under Project 2061 Analysis Procedure on the main menu.