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Re: Middle School Physical Science Texts: dishonesty

On Mon, 26 Feb 2001 19:01:44 -0600 Jack Uretsky <jlu@HEP.ANL.GOV> writes:
Hi all-
1. The one middle-school science teacher I've talked to
said, emphatically, "You can't teach a science course from a textbook."
She was aware of newspaper publicity concerning the purported

There is always an exception to every rule. You have been very lucky
to find such an exceptional middle school science teacher on your first
It certainly would be nice if all middle school science teachers were
as competent as the one that you met.

2. I have glanced through the report at It
does list some errors such as, for example, a map with the equator too

far north. It also seems to contain of nit-picking and opinions
concerning sound teaching practices.

Aren't all evaluations done by humans subject to the prejudices
and backgrounds of the evaluators to some degree? Even the reviews
of Broadway shows, movies, operas, and works of art are rarely free
from nit picking and the personal hangups of the critics. Is there any
College or University Physics textbook that has no detractors.

There seems to be a lot of highly subjective
material in the report. In other words, it seems straight out
misleading to characterize the report as a listing of textbook
errors, because that is only a part of the report.

The Packard report has never claimed to be a listing of errors
found in science textbooks. However, during the evaluations by
a team of experienced Physics teachers and professors, many errors
were discovered. Some of these errors and half-truths can leave their
imprint on young minds for the rest of their lives.

It is a pity that the report was not refereed before being
unloosed on the public.

The Packard report WAS refereed by at least two persons for every
section of the report. The pity is that many of the middle
school science textbooks were not refereed as well as the Packard
report itself.

Herb Gottlieb. (One of the many Packard report referees)

On Mon, 26 Feb 2001, Robert A Cohen wrote:

One thing that seems to have been implied by recent posts is that
are unaware of the errors. It seems to me that many of the
teachers I
speak with are, indeed, aware of the errors and, as a result,
hardly use
the textbooks. Is that an accurate reflection of the state of

| Robert Cohen Department of Physics |
| East Stroudsburg University |
| East Stroudsburg, PA 18301 |
| (570) 422-3428 |

While [Jane] Austen's majestic use of language is surely diminished
in its
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at least a sense of her exquisite command of her native tongue.
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