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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Science. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company, 1995
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis

The Macmillan/McGraw-Hill program for science at the middle grades level distributes physical, Earth, and life science topics across a total of 18 stand-alone units (units 25–42), or textbooks, that span grades five through eight.

This 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 Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Science assesses the program’s Earth science component.

The Earth science idea set focuses on the processes that change the surface of the Earth. In the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Science program, the material relating to these key ideas is to be found in two units: Unit 35: Earth’s Solid Crust (suggested for grade seven) and Unit 40: Earth Changes Through Time (suggested for grade eight). For the most part, topics such as erosion by wind, water, and ice are treated in Earth’s Solid Crust, and topics related to plate tectonics, including earthquakes and volcanoes, are treated in Earth Changes Through Time. All of the key Earth science ideas are treated in this program.

The other two sections of this report—the Content Analysis and the Instructional Analysis—summarize the results of the evaluation of the Earth science content and instructional efficacy of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Science.

In both sections, the within-the-text page references to the evaluated materials have been clarified by appending letter suffixes to the cited page numbers: “s” denotes the student text (as in “p. 33s”), and “t” denotes the Teacher’s Planning Guide (as in “p. 33t”). In some instances, both materials are cited (as in “p. 33st”). Also, the use of the prefix “T” in a page number (e.g., “T6”) indicates the teacher’s notes at the front of the planning guide. In addition, lowercase letter suffixes are used in the Teacher’s Planning Guide itself to designate multiple-part pages (as in “p. 22a,” “p. 22b,” etc.), but the letters involved occur early in the alphabet and are not likely to be confused with the evaluators’ clarification system.

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.