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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Science Interactions. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1998
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis

Science Interactions is a middle grades science program that distributes physical, Earth, and life science topics over three courses.

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 Interactions assesses the program’s physical science component.

The physical science idea set focuses on the particulate nature of matter and the kinetic molecular theory. In Science Interactions, statements about the key ideas of the kinetic molecular theory appear mostly in three chapters in the three courses. Course 1, Chapter 4: Describing the Physical World introduces states of matter and changes of state but does not link them to the kinetic molecular theory. Course 2, Chapter 14: Gases, Atoms, and Molecules focuses on gases, their properties, and their particulate nature, drawing on the ideas that matter is made of atoms and that atoms are in constant motion. Course 3, Chapter 7: Molecules in Motion reintroduces the kinetic molecular theory and uses it to explain the properties of solids, liquids, and gases as well as thermal expansion and changes of state.

The other two sections of this report—the Content Analysis and the Instructional Analysis—summarize the results of the evaluation of the physical science content and instructional efficacy of Science Interactions.

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. 33s”), and “t” denotes the Teacher Wraparound Edition (as in “p. 33t”). Where “T” appears as part of a page number (as in “p. 31T”), it denotes the Teacher Guide within the Teacher Wraparound Edition. And the use of “A” or “B” (as in “p. 33A” and “p. 33B”) simply refers to a multiple-part page that is so identified in the 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.