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Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Science 2000. Decision Development Corporation, 1991 and 1995
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis

Science 2000 is a technology-based science program that distributes physical, Earth, and life science topics across theme-based units. The program is intended for grades six through eight (with one unit for grade five). It includes software, laser videodiscs, and manuals for teachers, but does not include a student textbook.

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 Science 2000 assesses the program’s Earth science component.

The Earth science idea set focuses on the processes that change the surface of the Earth. In Science 2000, the material relating to these key ideas is to be found in several clusters across all four grade levels (clusters are subsections within units). Lessons in grade six present many of the key Earth science ideas in the context of the ways in which environments change over time. Similarly, lessons in grade seven present such ideas in the context of how the planet has changed through time. Grade eight also focuses on many of these ideas in the context of having the students decide on a suitable storage site for radioactive waste. Some of these ideas are touched on in grade five in lessons about how water has changed the Great Basin and how mountains affect the water cycle. Other ideas are mentioned briefly in a seventh-grade lesson about how erosion affects the health of a lake.

The other two sections of this report—the Content Analysis and the Instructional Analysis—summarize the results of the evaluation of Science 2000’s Earth science content and instructional efficacy.

In both sections, within-the-text references to the evaluated materials are given as a basic sequence of four numbers separated by periods. It is a top-down sequence that identifies, in order, the grade, unit, cluster, and lesson (e.g., “”). In some cases, more than one lesson is cited (e.g., “–3” and “, 3”). And in some cases, the basic sequence is extended to include lesson subunits, set off by a comma. Such subunits consist of either a lesson plan (LP) or student investigation (SI). Lesson plans are designated “LP1,” “LP2,” etc. Student investigations are designated by both cluster and lesson number (following usage in Science 2000), as, for example, “SI21–1–A.”

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.