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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Project 2061 Analysis Procedure

The Project 2061 curriculum-materials analysis procedure was developed over several years with funding from the National Science Foundation and in consultation with hundreds of K–12 teachers, materials developers, scientists, teacher educators, and cognitive researchers nationwide. The procedure's instructional analysis criteria and indicators are based on existing research on student learning (Kesidou & Roseman, 2002). When used by skilled reviewers, the procedure has been shown to be highly reliable (Kulm & Grier, 1998).

Using the procedure, the reviewers analyzed how completely the content of each middle grades science program aligns with key ideas in Earth science, life science, and physical science. The reviewers also examined how well the instructional strategies of the science programs make use of the most effective methods for student learning.

The information below provides more detail about how the reviewers used the analysis procedure to perform the content and instructional analyses. See Background Reading for articles that discuss further the Project 2061 analysis procedure, including the research base for the procedure’s instructional analysis criteria and indicators.

Content Analysis

What the Content Analysis Looked For

Key Science Ideas Used in Evaluating the Programs’ Content

Instructional Analysis

Criteria Used in Evaluating the Programs’ Quality of Instructional Support