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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

What the Content Analysis Looked For

For each middle grades science program evaluated, the reviewers determined how completely the program’s content aligns with key ideas in Earth science, life science, and physical science. Each Content Analysis report found under Browse the Evaluation Reports describes in detail the reviewers’ findings. The findings are presented in the five report sections described below:

The Alignment section examines how the curriculum material's content aligns with the specific key ideas that have been selected for use in the analysis.

In Building a Case, the report examines whether the curriculum material develops an evidence-based argument in support of the key ideas, including whether the case presented is valid, comprehensible, and convincing.

The Coherence section examines the connections that the curriculum material makes (1) among the key ideas, (2) between the key ideas and their prerequisites, and (3) between the key ideas and other, related ideas.

In Beyond Literacy, the report notes any information presented in the curriculum material that is more advanced than the set of key ideas, looking particularly at whether the “beyond literacy” information interrupts the presentation of the grade-appropriate information.

The Accuracy section notes any information presented in the curriculum material that contains errors, misleading statements, or statements that may reinforce commonly held student misconceptions.