ERIC Number: ED278947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: 0
Elementary Science Textbooks: Their Contents, Text Characteristics, and Comprehensibility. Technical Report No. 386.
Meyer, Linda A.; And Others
A study examined the general content and characteristics of elementary science textbooks and compared selected text segments from several content domains across publishers. The Merrill and Silver-Burdette science programs for grades 1-5 and one level of both the Holt and McGraw-Hill programs were evaluated. Results indicated substantial differences between the programs in lecture/discussion and classroom activities included in teachers' editions, in pedagogical questions presented, and in the number of content domains. Programs with the greatest amount of text (the highest number of content domains, propositions, and vocabulary) were also found to have (1) the most hands-on activities; (2) fewer problems with illogical structures and sequences or problematic connectives and referents; and (3) far more teacher-directed activities and, consequently, fewer activities that appeared only in student materials. Silver-Burdette was found to have both more pictures and a more substantial text-based program with longer text and a higher percentage of activities related to topic than Merrill. Findings also showed that Holt had far more chapters, activities, propositions, and questions on the content domains than any other program, particularly McGraw-Hill. Overall, the four programs were most alike on the percentage of activities related to the topics covered. (Four pages of references and 10 tables are provided.) (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.