ERIC Number: ED276128
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-19
Reference Count: 0
Introductory Remarks (Symposium on State Initiatives for Textbook Reform).
Carus, M. Blouke
Because textbooks are essential instructional tools, they should play a major role in educational reform for excellence. Despite improvements in response to ethnic and women's movements, deterioration in textbook quality has occurred through competition for markets. Former Secretary of Education Terrel Bell observed in 1984 that educators should join together to pressure publishers for improved classroom products. Bell noted that up to 95 percent of classroom instruction is based on textbooks and related materials. Judgments about what to teach are particularly relevant for large school systems, which have high pupil mobility and an increasing problem of inadequate teacher preparation. Textbooks cost schools only about 0.8 percent of their budget, but sufficient time or resources often are not allowed for textbook adoption committees to make informed judgments about the textbooks they select. To improve quality, a consensus should be reached among the major constituencies involved in curriculum decisions, including subject matter specialists, state policymakers, national leaders, textbook publishers, and teacher educators. Task forces comprised of members from each group should be formed to refine subject core curriculum. States should increase information to districts about textbook adoptions so that districts can allocate adequate time and resources. Textbooks will undoubtedly improve, primarily from enlightened leadership at the state level. (CJH)
Descriptors: Cooperative Planning, Curriculum Development, Educational Cooperation, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Materials, School District Spending, State School District Relationship, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research, Textbook Selection
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).