New Science Curriculum Reviews: PhD Science K-5

Great Minds’ PhD Science Texas (PhD Science Texas) is a comprehensive science curriculum for grades K-5. The material focuses on students making sense of and explaining scientific phenomena. The goal of the program is for students to “engage in learning that builds their coherent understanding of scientific knowledge.” As of September 2023, the materials are available in print only.

PhD Science Texas organizes learning in three modules per grade level, based on topics typically addressed in elementary science. Each module includes multiple lessons which are grouped based on related concepts. Lessons are intended for 35 minutes of instruction in grades K-2 and 45 minutes of instruction in grades 3-5.

The material consistently and systematically integrates phenomena and essential questions. Learning is scaffolded throughout the modules with a focus question for each concept. Across the lessons in each module, students follow the same learning cycle designed to help them make sense of and be able to explain scientific phenomena.

Lessons include a variety of activities that support academic discourse about science and critical thinking. Students are required to observe phenomena, ask questions, develop and use models, and collaborate with others. Opportunities for students to connect science to the real world are evident throughout the material.

In PhD Science, there is no traditional textbook. The primary student material is the Science Logbook, a consumable resource that provides activities and resources for most lessons. The primary teacher resource is a teacher edition, which provides comprehensive support for teachers, including scientific background and implementation guidance. The volume of information included in the teacher edition may require additional teacher preparation time.

Learn more about PhD Science’s rigor, assessments, and supports for special populations by reading Learning List’s Spec Sheet and Editorial Reviews.

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About Great Minds

What began as a small group of K–12 advocates with a passion for knowledge has grown quickly into teams of hundreds of teacher-writers on a mission to elevate education in every classroom. Great Minds® makes knowledge accessible to all in the form of high-quality curricula in mathematics, English language arts, science, and more.

*Content in this section is adapted from Great Minds.

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