Curriculum Materials

Curriculum materials are a critical component of improving science and mathematics education, yet many materials fail to teach the most important concepts in an effective way. Consequently, Project 2061 is working to improve materials and help educators, curriculum developers, and publishers identify and create instructional materials that can help all students achieve literacy in science and mathematics.

In this section, you can access a variety of curriculum-related resources, including information on Project 2061's research efforts, a list of relevant articles, and Project 2061's evaluations of some of the most widely used middle- and high-school science and mathematics textbooks. You can also learn how a Project 2061 partnership with three universities as part of The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science will guide curriculum material research and development and improve science instruction.

Projects & Activities

Center for Curriculum Materials in Science
The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (CCMS) is a partnership of AAAS, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan. It is focused on the analysis, design, and use of science curriculum materials.

Improving Learning in Middle Grade Mathematics
Through a jointly funded program, and in partnership with two universities, Project 2061 is investigating how best to coordinate teaching practices, curriculum materials, and professional development to improve student learning in Middle Grades mathematics.

Textbooks Evaluations
Project 2061 has published a series of evaluations of mathematics and science textbooks for the middle and high school grades. Most books reviewed in these studies were rated as unsatisfactory, covering too many topics without developing any of them well.

Articles, Findings, Reports

Analysis of Students' Assessments in Middle School Curriculum Materials: Aiming Precisely at Benchmarks and Standards
Project 2061 has developed and field-tested a procedure for analyzing curriculum materials, including their assessments, in terms of how well they are likely to contribute to the attainment of benchmarks and standards. With respect to assessment in curriculum materials, this procedure evaluates whether this assessment has the potential to reveal whether students have attained specific ideas in benchmarks and standards and whether information gained from students' responses can be used to inform subsequent instruction.

Final Reports from the textbooks evaluations

Key Documents

Criteria Used in Evaluating the Textbooks’ Quality of Instructional Support
In evaluating the instructional effectiveness of each high school biology textbook analyzed, the review, or evaluation, teams have applied a set of research-based criteria developed by Project 2061 and presented below. The criteria are organized in seven categories, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of instructional support.
(From the evaluation of high school biology textbooks.)