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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Science Insights. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1996 and 1997
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis
I. [Explanation] This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material attempts to make its purposes explicit and meaningful to students, either in the student text itself or through suggestions to the teacher. The sequence of lessons or activities is also important in accomplishing the stated purpose, since ideas often build on each other.
II. [Explanation] Fostering understanding in students requires taking time to attend to the ideas they already have, both ideas that are incorrect and ideas that can serve as a foundation for subsequent learning. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material contains specific suggestions for identifying and addressing students’ ideas.
III. [Explanation] Much of the point of science is to explain phenomena in terms of a small number of principles or ideas. For students to appreciate this explanatory power, they need to have a sense of the range of phenomena that science can explain. The criteria in this category examine whether the curriculum material relates important scientific ideas to a range of relevant phenomena and provides either firsthand experiences with the phenomena or a vicarious sense of phenomena that are not presented firsthand.
IV. [Explanation] Science literacy requires that students understand the link between scientific ideas and the phenomena that they can explain. Furthermore, students should see the ideas as useful and become skillful at applying them. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material expresses and develops the key ideas in ways that are accessible and intelligible to students, and that demonstrate the usefulness of the key ideas and provide practice in varied contexts.
V. [Explanation] Engaging students in experiences with phenomena (category III) and presenting them with scientific ideas (category IV) will not lead to effective learning unless students are given time, opportunities, and guidance to make sense of the experiences and ideas. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material provides students with opportunities to express, think about, and reshape their ideas, as well as guidance on developing an understanding of what they experience.
VI. [Explanation] This category consists of criteria for evaluating whether the curriculum material includes a variety of aligned assessments that apply the key ideas taught in the material.
VII. [Explanation] The criteria in this category provide analysts with the opportunity to comment on features that enhance the use and implementation of the curriculum material by all students.

I. Providing a Sense of Purpose

Conveying unit purpose (Rating = Poor)

Units and chapters both open with vivid photographs that are accompanied by questions. No purpose is provided for the units, nor is any link made between the photograph and what will be studied in the unit. In each chapter, however, a statement of its purpose is found next to the photograph (for example, “As you read this chapter, you will learn about the plates that make up the earth’s crust” [p. 90s], and “As you read the chapter, you will learn about forces that change the earth’s surface” [p. 112s]). These statements are often vague, uninteresting, and contain technical vocabulary (such as plate, crust, erosion, and topography) that will limit their comprehensibility by students. Although the lessons in the chapters are consistent with the purpose stated, the purpose is not returned to at the end of the chapter.

Conveying lesson/activity purpose (Rating = Poor)

Neither the text nor the activities within sections convey a purpose to students. The only purpose for the reading sections is provided in the list of objectives given at the beginning of each section. These objectives explain what students will do but not why. Although the Teacher’s Edition contains a statement of purpose for some activities (e.g., the Skills WarmUp), it does not direct the teacher to inform the students of the purpose. Furthermore, the purpose of these activities is too vague to be useful to either teachers or students and often does not fit with the activity. For example, one activity has students use a dictionary to find the meaning of the words “plate” and “tectonic.” The purpose given in the Teacher’s Edition says, “To help students understand the theory of plate tectonics, have them do the Skills WarmUp” (p. 96t). Students are not likely to understand the theory of plate tectonics better by looking up the individual words in the dictionary.

Justifying lesson/activity sequence (Rating = Poor)

No rationale is given for the sequences of activities or chapters; furthermore the sequence of the chapters appears to be illogical. Ideas used in an earlier chapter are not explained until later chapters. Specifically, Chapter 5: Plate Tectonics begins with the historic evidence for continental drift, then provides the current evidence for seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. However, much of the evidence set forth will be incomprehensible to students. Glacial deposits and scarring are cited as evidence for continental drift on page 94s, but glaciers and glacial features are not described until page 274s in Chapter 12: Forces of Erosion. Similarly, fossils, rocks, and mountains are presented as evidence for continental drift, but these topics are not discussed until later chapters.

Sections within chapters appear to be a collection of topics related to the chapter title, rather then a strategic sequence of topics (e.g., Chapter 12: Forces of Erosion includes the sections Gravity and Erosion, Water Erosion, Ice Erosion, and Wind Erosion).

II. Taking Account of Student Ideas

Attending to prerequisite knowledge and skills (Rating = Poor)

Science Insights: Exploring Earth and Space does not alert teachers to the prerequisite ideas that students need to know before they can understand the key ideas about how the surface of the Earth changes. Even though teachers are not alerted to prerequisite information, some prerequisites are presented, albeit briefly, including a variety of landforms (pp. 34–35s) gravity (p. 264s), and that water expands as it freezes (p. 240s). These prerequisites are presented in a few statements, and examples are provided of how they are related to an Earth-shaping process. The relationship between gravity and landslides is one example. The landforms presented are not referred to later when processes that shape the Earth are presented. Some important prerequisites are not presented. The difficulties that students may have with proportionality and scale, such as slow processes and the long time frames of the Earth, are not addressed. Although students make models throughout these chapters, the role of models in science (to facilitate thinking about processes that happen too slowly or too quickly) is not discussed.

Alerting teachers to commonly held student ideas (Rating = Poor)

Although the research on students’ ideas in Earth science is notably sparse, Science Insights: Exploring Earth and Space attempts to alert teachers to the possible, and even somewhat plausible, beliefs of students. In a component called Misconceptions, teachers are cautioned about possible ideas that their students may have such as: (1) erosion involves water only (p. 263t), (2) deformation is a sudden change (p. 113t), and (3) crustal plates are under landmasses only and are in the same shape as the continents (p. 96t). However, these ideas are not explained further, and the one commonly held idea that is well documented (namely, that students believe that the Earth is static and not changing [Freyberg, 1985]) is not mentioned.

Assisting teachers in identifying their students’ ideas (Rating = Poor)

While the text contains a component called Prior Knowledge, very few of the questions in it are likely to help teachers identify their students’ ideas about the Earth and how these ideas change. Many of the questions in this component are vague, such as: “How are all mountains alike?” (p. 121t) and “Where does the dust from a dust cloud go?” (p. 280t). These questions are unlikely to help teachers understand better their students’ ideas about how the surface of the Earth changes. Other questions at the beginning of each chapter also could be used to find out what students know, but they are not labeled as serving this purpose. For example, students are asked: “What processes do you think made the rock [in the photograph] look this way?” (p. 112t), “How do you think these structures [in photograph] might have been formed?” (p. 238t), and “Why are the continents shaped the way they are?” (p. 91t). However, most of the questions posed at the beginning of the chapters are do not focus on the key Earth science ideas and do not ask students to make predictions or give explanations of phenomena. Furthermore, teachers are not given suggestions of how to interpret students’ responses or probe their ideas further.

Addressing commonly held ideas (Rating = Poor)

No suggestions are provided for addressing commonly held students ideas, not even for those specifically mentioned in the Misconceptions component (see above discussion under “Alerting teacher to commonly held student ideas”).

III. Engaging Students with Relevant Phenomena

Providing variety of phenomena (Rating = Poor)

Overall, only a few phenomena are presented that support these key Earth science ideas. For the idea that several processes contribute to the changing surface of the Earth (Idea b), the text presents several Earth-changing processes, but very little discussion of how the surface of the Earth changes as a result. There are no before-and-after pictures, diagrams, or text descriptions that would help to give students a better sense of change. For example, they are told that waves cause beach erosion and change the shape of the beach every day. However, the photographs of a beach in Hawaii and the Dungeness Spit in Washington State do not show changes in the landforms (p. 272s). Typically, Earth-changing processes—such as plate interactions (pp. 102–103s), volcanic mountains (pp. 146–147s), folded mountains (p. 122s), or mechanical weathering (pp. 240–241s)—are presented in brief description with an example of a place where they have occurred.

Providing vivid experiences (Rating = Poor)

The material does not provide first-hand experiences with phenomena, and the brief text descriptions are inadequate to give students a vicarious sense of the phenomena. For example, several photographs show types of volcanic eruptions (p. 146s). However, since the landscape before and after the eruptions is neither described in text nor shown in diagrams, it is unlikely that middle grades students will be able to form a mental picture of how the surface of the Earth has changed. In another instance a photograph shows a part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, while the caption states that “In parts of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, folded rock layers are clearly visible” (p. 122s). Although the accompanying text mentions other folded mountains and even reminds students that they just learned about folding of the crust in general, the Canadian Rockies photograph is not explained specifically.

IV. Developing and Using Scientific Ideas

Introducing terms meaningfully (Rating = Poor)

No attempt is made to limit the number of technical terms used. In the five chapters examined, more than one hundred new and technical terms are presented. Typically these terms are not related to a relevant experience, nor are they developed as needed in order to discuss the key ideas more effectively. The majority of the terms are associated with a photograph or diagram; however, the photographs or diagrams are of questionable quality as well (usually either incomprehensible or inaccurate). Other than looking up words in a dictionary, terms are not linked to activities. For example, in a Skills WarmUp activity, students use a dictionary to look up “plate” and “tectonic” (p. 96st), and in a Language Arts Connection, students look up the prefix pan- and the suffix -gaea in a dictionary (p. 91t). Students are not reminded of their first encounter with technical terms. For example, “erosion” and “deposition” are introduced first in Chapter 4: Geologic Time, but this instance is not mentioned in Chapter 12: Forces of Erosion, when the terms are used again. Several technical terms are used but not defined or linked to experiences: “basalt,” “gabbro,” “granite,” “rhyolite,” “fracture,” “domes,” “pluton,” “batholith,” “viscosity,” “basin,” “hot spot,” and “cinder.” Several other terms are unnecessary as well, which may focus teachers and students on memorizing definitions, rather than learning the important key ideas. Extraneous terms include those for types of volcanoes (“cinder cones,” “shield cones,” and “composite cones”) and types of glacial features (“cirques,” “horns,” “kettle lakes,” “till,” and “moraine”).

Representing ideas effectively (Rating = Poor)

Typical representations (diagrams, models, and analogies) are inaccurate, incomprehensible, and not linked explicitly to the real event, object, or process. Moreover, fewer than half of the key ideas are represented. Typical inaccuracies include the melting of a subducted tectonic plate (p. 101s), a great opening in the Earth’s crust at divergent plate boundaries (p. 100s), and the distribution of earthquakes (p. 137s). Often, the models, illustrations, and demonstrations are not allied with the real event, object, or process, such as faulting (p. 117s), folding (pp. 115–116s), or plate boundaries (p. 100s). Furthermore, the models that students are to build are not connected to what they are depicting—as, for example, in the case of plate boundary interactions (p. 100st). Many representations are incomprehensible, and they include the analogy of plate boundaries to bumper cars (p. 100s) and a diagram of the midocean ridge (p. 96s).

Demonstrating use of knowledge (Rating = Poor)

No instances of modeling explanations or other uses of knowledge were found.

Providing practice (Rating = Poor)

There are a small number of opportunities for students to practice three of the eight key Earth science ideas. Most of the questions can be answered by direct recall of the text and do not require students to use knowledge. Among them are: “List the three ways in which plates can interact with one another” (p. 110st, Check Your Knowledge, Item 8), and “[H]ow does it [a volcano] form?” (p. 150st, Check and Explain, item 1). Very few questions allow students to practice using their knowledge in novel tasks or questions (i.e., tasks that have not been presented previously). One novel question in which students can use their knowledge asks them to suggest how the Ural Mountains between Asia and Europe might have formed (p. 110st, Check Your Understanding, item 6). Question sets do not increase in complexity, and there are no suggestions for teachers to provide feedback to students.

V. Promoting Students' Thinking about Phenomena, Experiences, and Knowledge

Encouraging students to explain their ideas (Rating = Poor)

Very few of the questions provide opportunities for students to express, clarify, or justify their ideas about the key ideas. Most of the questions (in components such as Skills WarmUp, Portfolio, Cooperative Learning, Discuss, Explore Visually, and Directed Inquiry) focus on recalling information from the text, such as: “Where are the youngest rocks on the ocean bottom?” (p. 97t) and “What is the simplest kind of rock fold?” (p. 115t). Very few of the questions or key ideas invite students to explain their own concepts. For example, it is rare to find such questions as the ones that ask students to consider “how the Mississippi Delta grew” (p. 268t) and why they would need a current coastline map if they were planning to sail along the U.S. Atlantic coastline (p. 272t).

Guiding student interpretation and reasoning (Rating = Poor)

Rarely are there questions to guide students’ interpretations of readings, diagrams, or activities dealing with the key Earth science ideas. Most of the questions provided focus primarily on text recall and practice using terminology. Typical questions include: “How are tension stresses the opposite of compression stresses?” (p. 123t) and “How is a caldera related to a crater?” (p. 145t). Often, the activities have few or no guiding questions. Furthermore, none of the questions have helpful characteristics. Questions about readings and activities do not frame important issues, anticipate common misconceptions, or help students relate their experiences with phenomena to scientific ideas. The Check and Explain sections that follow readings are collections of questions rather than strategic sequences of questions that develop understanding of the key ideas.

Encouraging students to think about what they have learned (Rating = Poor)

No opportunities are suggested for students to revise their initial ideas or to monitor their progress in other ways.

VI. Assessing Progress

Aligning assessment to goals (Rating = Poor)

For the end-of-instruction assessment, Science Insights: Exploring Earth and Space provides two tests for each chapter and one test for each unit. They are presented in a separate Assessment Program booklet. The applicable components of chapters 4–7 and 11–12—the chapters that treat the key Earth science ideas most extensively—have been examined in terms of the first two assessment criteria.

While this material includes some tasks that target the key Earth science ideas, the number of assessment items applicable to each key idea varies. Four of the key ideas are not assessed at all. They are as follows: that the Earth’s surface is continually changing (Idea a), that the processes that shaped the Earth in the past are still at work today (Idea c), that the Earth-shaping processes vary in rate (Idea d), and that slow processes can cause significant changes over very long times (Idea e). Only two assessment items focus on the evidence for the movement of continents (Idea f):
9. Which one [of the following] is not used as evidence that the continents have moved over time?
a. fossils
b. rock formation
c. wind-blown sediments
d. glacial deposits
[Assessment Program, p. 21, Test 5A, item 9; the answer is c]

15. Fossils of tropical plants found in Antarctica indicate that
a. the region near the South Pole was once warm.
b. the equator was once near the South Pole.
c. Antarctica was once closer to the equator.
d. earlier plants could survive cold climates.
[Assessment Program, p. 22, Test 5A, item 15; the answer is c]

Several assessment items focus on plate tectonics (Idea g) and their effect on landforms and geological events (Idea h) (e.g., Assessment Program, p. 22, Test 5A, items 12, 13, 14; pp. 23–24, Test 5B, items B, C, D; p. 34, Unit Test 2, items 18, 20, 24). Many of these items emphasize familiarity with relevant vocabulary, such as asking students to select the term that best completes a certain statement:

A mid-ocean ridge is an example of a
a. divergent boundary
b. convergent boundary
c. transform boundary
d. subduction zone.”
[Assessment Program, p. 34, Unit Test 2, item 20; the answer is a]

Some assessment items do focus on understanding a key Earth science idea. For example, students are asked to use their knowledge of plate tectonics to answer this question: “If new rock material is constantly being added to the crust at the mid-ocean ridges, why aren’t the ocean basins becoming wider?” (Assessment Program, p. 24, Test 5B, item D).

Also, several assessment items target the idea that several processes contribute to changing the Earth’s surface (Idea b) (e.g., pp. 17–18, Test 4A, items 4, 9, 15, 25; p. 19, Test 4B, item A; p. 21, Test 5A, item 2; p. 24, Test 5B, item D; pp. 33–35, Unit Test 2, items 3, 18, 34; pp. 57–58, Test 12A, items 7, 21, 22, 25; p. 60, Test 12B, items B, C). However, these items typically assess students on their understanding of individual processes, and students are rarely asked to consider how several processes contribute to the changing of the Earth’s surface. For example, students are asked to complete the following statements: “The buildup of sediment at the mouth of a river is an example of _____” (Assessment Program, p. 17, Test 4A, item 4; the answer is “deposition”), and “Rock particles are carried away by wind, water, or ice during the _____ process” (Assessment Program, p. 33, Unit Test 2, item 3; the answer is “erosion”). They are also asked to answer the following question:

In which location is deposition most likely to occur?
a. on a mountaintop
b. at the mouth of a river
c. in the middle of a desert
d. on a steep hillside
[Assessment Program, (p. 18, Test 4A, item 15; the answer is b]

Testing for understanding (Rating = Poor)

The provided assessment items do not ask students to use the key Earth science ideas to explain phenomena, identify examples for the general principle, or make predictions. Most of the assessment items (such as those described in the previous criterion) can be answered by rote memorization of text statements. Very few items require application of the key ideas, such as why ocean basins are not becoming wider despite the fact that new rock material is constantly being added to the crust at the mid-ocean ridges (Assessment Program, p. 24, Test 5B, item C), and whether erosion and deposition are constructive or destruction processes (Assessment Program, p. 60, Test 12B, item C).

Using assessment to inform instruction (Rating = Poor)

Science Insights: Exploring Earth and Space does not make explicit claims about assessment items that could be used to find out where students are and modify instruction accordingly. Nonetheless, the reviewers have examined whether questions throughout the relevant chapters could help a well-informed teacher to identify students’ remaining difficulties. While most relevant items in the Evaluation sections and the Chapter Reviews are based on regurgitation of text statements, a few items require application of the key ideas. For example, students predict what will happen to the size of the Atlantic Ocean in the next 50 million years (p. 95s, item 3), explain what causes earthquakes (p. 138s, item 1), how glaciers erode a mountain (p. 278s, item 2), compare erosion and deposition (p. 265S, item 1), discuss the evidence for continental drift (p. 110S, Check Your Understanding, item 1), and how the theory of plate tectonics relates to the theory of continental drift (p. 110s, Check Your Understanding, item 2). Unfortunately, the material does not include suggestions about how to interpret students’ responses and make informed modifications in the instruction.

VII. Enhancing the Science Learning Environment

Providing teacher content support (Minimal support is provided.)

The material provides minimal support in alerting teachers to how ideas have been simplified for students to comprehend and what the more sophisticated versions are. Content background notes only briefly summarize the student text for units (e.g., p. 72t, Unit Overview) and chapters (e.g., p. 90At, Overview; p. 238At, Overview).

The material rarely provides sufficiently detailed answers to questions in the Student Edition for teachers to understand and interpret various student responses. Most answers are brief and require further explanation (for example, “Check students’ models for accuracy” [p. 95t, Check and Explain, item 4]); some focus solely on the definitions of terms (e.g., p. 104t, WrapUp).

The material provides minimal support in recommending resources for improving teachers’ understanding of key ideas. While the material lists references at the beginning of each chapter that could help teachers improve their understanding of key ideas (e.g., “Aylesworth, T. G. Moving Continents: Our Changing Earth. Hillside, NJ: Enslow, 1990” [p. 112Bt]), the lists lack annotations about what kind of information the references provide or how they may be helpful.

Encouraging curiosity and questioning (Minimal support is provided.)

The material provides no suggestions for how to encourage student questions and guide their search for answers.

The material provides a few suggestions for how to respect and value students’ ideas. Introductory teacher’s notes about concept mapping state that “each student connects concepts differently” and that working with other students in constructing concept maps “gives students valuable experience in comprehending and communicating the meanings of scientific concepts and terms” (p. T–39). In addition to concept mapping, the material explicitly elicits and values students’ ideas in some activities. For example, teacher’s notes state that answers may vary (e.g., p. 95t, Check and Explain, item 2) for selected tasks. Also, each chapter begins with a feature entitled, “What do you see?” which consists of a quote from an actual student about the chapter opening photograph (e.g., p. 262s).

The material provides a few suggestions for how to raise questions such as, “How do we know? What is the evidence?” and “Are there alternative explanations or other ways of solving the problem that could be better?” But it does not encourage students to pose such questions themselves. Specifically, the material includes a few tasks that ask students to provide evidence or reasons in their responses (e.g., p. 94t, Critical Thinking; p. 95t, WrapUp).

The material provides a few suggestions for how to avoid dogmatism. The first chapter portrays the nature of science as a durable yet dynamic human enterprise in which students can participate (pp. 2–12s). The material later illustrates changes over time in scientific thinking about earth science theories (pp. 95s and 119s, Science and Society). However, the material also contributes to dogmatism by presenting most of the text in a static, authoritative manner with little reference to the work of particular practicing scientists and by expecting single specific responses for most student tasks.

The material does not provide examples of classroom interactions (e.g., dialogue boxes, vignettes, or video clips) that illustrate appropriate ways for teachers to respond to student questions or ideas. However, a limited sense of desirable student-student interactions may be gained from procedural directions for laboratory and cooperative group activities (e.g., p. T–37; p. 120st, Activity 6; p. 282t, Cooperative Learning; Laboratory Manual, pp. T–x, T–xi).

Supporting all students (Some support is provided.)

The material generally avoids stereotypes or language that might be offensive to a particular group. For example, photographs include a diverse cultural mix of students and adults (e.g., pp. 25s, 125s, 278s), but the number of photographs that include people are few throughout the material. In addition, the material’s use of the short story genre (e.g., pp. 154–155st, 312–313st) related to the traditional expository text may support the language use of particular student groups.

The material provides some illustrations of the contributions of women and minorities to science and as role models. Introductory notes highlight multicultural perspectives and suggest that teachers “Tell students about the contribution to science and technology of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds” (p. T–36). Throughout the material, however, most of the contributions of women and minority scientists appear in special features. Science and Society sections relate chapter content to human activities sometimes focusing on the contributions of particular cultural groups (e.g. p. 244s). The Historical Notebook feature emphasizes historical contributions of particular cultural groups (e.g., p. 251s). The Career Corner feature briefly describes a scientific occupation related to the chapter content and includes a photograph of a scientist; in some instances, the scientist is a woman or minority (e.g., p. 125s). Multicultural Perspectives are general directions in teacher notes for projects related to the chapter content in which students often research particular characteristics of a cultural group. For example, one Multicultural Perspectives feature asks students to research how desert people in the Middle East, Northern Africa, or central Australia farm and find water (p. 284t). All of these sections highlighting cultural contributions are interesting and informative but may not be seen by students as central to the material because they are mostly presented in sidebars and teacher notes.

The material suggests multiple formats for students to express their ideas during instruction, including individual investigations (e.g., p. 99st, Skills WorkOut), journal writing (e.g., p. 236t, Writing About the Photograph), laboratory investigations (e.g., p. 105st, Activity 5), cooperative group activities (e.g., p. 90t, Cooperative Learning), whole class discussion (e.g., p. 93t, Discuss), essay questions (e.g., p. 120st, Task 5 Conclusion), creative writing (e.g., p. 121t, Writing Connection), report writing (e.g., p. 105st, Conclusion), making models (e.g., p. 120st, Activity 6), and visual projects (e.g., p. 103t, Art Connection). In addition, multiple formats are suggested for assessment, including essay (e.g., p. 130st, Check Your Understanding, item 5), concept mapping (e.g., p. 111st, Make Connections, item 1), portfolio (e.g., p. 100t, Portfolio), creative writing (e.g., p. 131st, Make Connections, item 4), and visual projects (e.g., p. 111st, Make Connections, item 2). However, the material does not usually provide a variety of alternatives for the same task in either instruction or assessment.

The material does not routinely include specific suggestions about how teachers can modify activities for students with special needs. However, the Teacher’s Edition and supplementary materials (including reinforcement, enrichment and review worksheets, activities and laboratory investigations) provide additional activities and resources for students of specific ability levels. Teacher’s notes at the beginning of each chapter provide additional activities for limited English proficiency, at-risk, and gifted students (e.g., p. 90At, Individual Needs), and give ability level designations (core, standard, and enriched) for all chapter components (e.g., p. 262Bt, Chapter 12 Planning Guide). For Spanish speakers, there is a Spanish Supplement, which translates chapter summaries and the glossary, and Spanish Section Reviews (worksheets). However, the placement of some supplemental resources in individual booklets separate from the main text may discourage their use, and the special needs codes at the beginning of chapters may discourage teachers from using those activities with all students when appropriate.

The material provides some strategies to validate students’ relevant personal and social experiences with scientific ideas. Some text sections intersperse brief references to specific personal experiences students may have had that relate to the presented scientific concepts (e.g., p. 121s). In addition, some tasks ask students about particular personal experiences they may have had or suggest specific experiences they could have. For example, a text section illustrates the process of convection in the home with examples of air in the shower, air heated by a heating vent or radiator, and a pan of water heating on the stove (p. 108s). An adjacent task in the teacher’s notes asks students to create diagrams of convection cells from their own lives (p. 108t, Skills Development). However, the material rarely encourages students to contribute relevant experiences of their own choice to the science classroom, and sometimes it does not adequately link the specified personal experiences to the scientific ideas being studied (e.g., p. 128t, Integrating the Sciences). Overall, support is brief and localized.