|Earth Science||Life Science||Physical Science|
SciencePlus: Technology and Society is a science program that distributes physical, Earth, and life science topics over three grade levels. The three levels—labeled “Green,” “Red,” and “Blue”—correspond to grades six, seven, and eight, respectively.
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 SciencePlus assesses the program’s Earth science component.
The Earth science idea set focuses on the processes that change the surface of the Earth. In SciencePlus, these key ideas are mostly treated in Level Green (grade six) in Unit 8: Our Changing Earth. This unit presents information about plate tectonics, discusses the continual nature of change on the surface of the Earth, discusses time frames associated with changes on the Earth, and presents several agents of change, including gravity, wind, water, and ice. Also, many of the key ideas are presented in Level Red (grade seven) in Unit 6: The Restless Earth. This unit presents information about mountain building processes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate tectonics.
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 SciencePlus.
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 Annotated Teacher’s Edition (as in “p. 17t”). Where “T” appears as part of a page reference (as in “p. T26”), it denotes a page in the Teacher’s Guide within the Annotated Teacher’s Edition. Where “A,” “B,” or “C” appears as part of a page reference (as in “p. 2A”), 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.