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Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Background Reading

The following are a variety of articles, many written by Project 2061 staff, about the project's science textbook evaluations. They give additional detail about the evaluation procedure and criteria, the results of the evaluation process, and the implications of evaluation findings. Some of the articles are from specialized research journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching while others are written for a more general audience.

The articles are listed in the order of their publication, beginning with the most recent. To read the articles that are available online, click on the linked article titles.

Toward Ecology Literacy: Contributions from Project 2061 Science Literacy Reform Tools (2002)
Roseman, J. E., & Stern, L. (2002). Toward ecology literacy: Contributions from Project 2061 science literacy reform tools. In A. R. Berkowitz, C. H. Nilon, & K. S. Hollweg (Eds.), Understanding urban ecosystems: A new frontier for science and education (pp. 261–281). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Analysis of Students' Assessments in Middle School Curriculum Materials: Aiming Precisely at Benchmarks and Standards (2002)
Stern, L., & Ahlgren, A. (2002). Analysis of students' assessments in middle school curriculum materials: Aiming precisely at benchmarks and standards. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 889–910.

How Well Do Middle School Science Programs Measure Up? Findings from Project 2061's Curriculum Review (2002)
Kesidou, S., & Roseman, J. E. (2002). How well do middle school science programs measure up?  Findings from Project 2061's curriculum review. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 522–549.

Textbook Alignment (2001)
Stern, L., & Roseman, J. E. (2001, October). Textbook alignment. The Science Teacher, 68(3), 52-56.
Members of NSTA may view the article for free at

Errant Texts: Why some schools may not want to go by the book (2001)
Raloff, J. (2001, March 17). Errant texts: Why some schools may not want to go by the book. Science News, 159(11), 168–170.

The Trouble With Textbooks (2001)
Budiansky, S. (2001, February). The trouble with textbooks. Prism, 24–27.

Putting Textbooks to the Test (2001)
Roseman, J. E., Kulm, G., & Shuttleworth, S. (2001). Putting textbooks to the test. ENC Focus, 8(3), 56–59.

Heavy Books Light on Learning: AAAS Project 2061 Evaluates Middle Grades Science Textbooks (1999)
Roseman, J. E., Kesidou, S., Stern, L., & Caldwell, A. (1999, November/December). Heavy books light on learning: AAAS Project 2061 evaluates middle grades science textbooks. Science Books & Films, 35(6), 243–247.

Heavy Books Light on Learning: Not One Middle Grades Science Text Rated Satisfactory By AAAS's Project 2061 (1999)
Project 2061. (1999, September 28). Heavy books light on learning: Not one middle grades science text rated satisfactory by AAAS's Project 2061 [press release]. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A Benchmarks-Based Approach to Textbook Evaluation (1999)
Kulm, G., Roseman, J. E., & Treistman, M. (1999, July/August). A benchmarks-based approach to textbook evaluation. Science Books & Films, 35(4), 147–153.

Identifying Curriculum Materials for Science Literacy: A Project 2061 Evaluation Tool (1997)
Roseman, J. E., Kesidou, S., & Stern, L. (1997). Identifying curriculum materials for science literacy: A Project 2061 evaluation tool. Based on a paper prepared for the colloquium Using the National Science Education Standards to guide the evaluation, selection, and adaptation of instructional materials held at the National Research Council, November 10–12, 1996, Washington, D.C.