Project 2061 LogoAAAS Project 2061
AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Prentice Hall Exploring Earth Science, Exploring Life Science, and Exploring Physical Science. Prentice Hall School, 1997
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis

Prentice Hall Exploring Earth Science is one of three components of a science program that 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 Prentice Hall program assesses the program’s Earth science component.

The Earth science idea set focuses on the processes that change the surface of the Earth. In Exploring Earth Science, the material relating to these key ideas is to be found in six chapters. Chapter 8: Earth’s Landmasses introduces the processes associated with landforms. Chapter 10: Movement of the Earth’s Crust presents the processes of faulting and folding. Chapter 11 presents earthquakes and volcanoes. Chapter 12 presents ideas about plate tectonics. Chapters 14 and 15 present the processes of weathering, erosion and deposition.

The other two sections of this report—the Content Analysis and the Instructional Analysis—summarize the results of the evaluation of Exploring Earth 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. 17s”), and “t” denotes the Teacher’s Edition (as in “p. 17t”). Where “a” appears as part of a page reference (as in “p. 17a”), it denotes a page number as given in the evaluated materials.

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.