Friday, October 23, 2009

Earth Science

This book is neither great nor poor. Actually there are not as many choices out there for Earth Science as there are for many other Science subjects. Therefore the school districts do not have a lot of choices. I've used the book with classes. As the one reviewer says, it is not always clear about what the main points are. Though an astute student should notice key terms are in bold face type. Yet often the definition, example of the term follows its first use by many pages. I even found it a bit confusing. Though the information is in the book. Many students do not know how to study, so if it does not jump out at them they just give up. I would not ditz the book like one reviewer has. The information that is presented is in the book, but the organization and presentation is not the best. Now I do agree that much of this book seems to be dated. I think that is because it is not really in a new addition. I've seen many copies of this book with dates from 1994 to 2001 and the cover and text seems to be exactly the same. So it looks like "2005 edition" is still the 1994 edition, just a new printing.

I am glad that one reviewer was able to learn using this book. Everyone is different, and so if this book turned on the light of understanding in one student, it can't be all-bad. And it is not all that bad, I just wish there actually was a much better Earth Science textbook out there. Our local district has been using this book for many years; most of our other science texts have been changed during those years.

I am afraid I will have to take exception to the naysayer's comments about this book using the Metric System. Where has he been during the last couple hundred years? The rest of the world uses the metric system. Today, only the USA does not. True, I don't know my height in centimeters, or the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco in kilometers. But for many other matters we use the metric system all the time in everyday life. Do you know the focal length of your normal lens on a 35mm SLR camera in inches? Probably not, it's about 2 inches (50mm). Wow, and that great 210mm telephoto lens is how many inches? As far as science education goes, you will only use "English measure" in a few introductory classes in 9th grade and below. Chemistry and Physics are all metric. You will use both systems of measure in Biology, Geology, and Medical Sciences. Physical constants are easier numbers to remember in their metric forms. Also many ideas just are not thought of in English measure. Ever heard of pound-atomic-weights for the chemical elements. Actually that would not even make sense because a pound is a unit of force and not mass. This could not be used like gram atomic weights. Does anyone remember the English unit of mass? Do let me know if you actually do find a better Earth Sciences Textbook.