ERIC Number: ED284799
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Old Wine in New Bottles: An Analysis of Changes in Social Studies Textbooks from Old to New Edition.
Woodward, Arthur; Nagel, Kathleen Carter
Faced with a market that puts a premium on newness, artwork, and copyright date, the textbook industry seems to have been forced into a hectic textbook revision cycle in which improvement in instructional quality takes a poor second place to more superficial changes. While educators think they are getting newer, different, and, therefore better textbooks, they are not. An analysis of recent editions of four fifth-grade social studies textbooks reveals relatively few content and pedagogical changes. Of the four, only one can be said to have undergone substantial revision from one copyright version to another. On the whole, teacher's guides reflected the changes or lack of changes in their student textbooks. On the surface, it appears that publishers spend inordinate amounts of time employing marketing ploys to convince educators that they are buying something better than was previously available. Yet, it is educators themselves who apply educationally irresponsible and unsound criteria to their evaluations of textbooks. Adoption states, too, must bear a disproportionate responsibility for creating the existing market. Although efforts are being made to insist upon improved quality of textbooks and to reform the textbook selection process, much work is necessary to assure that these efforts materialize into substantial improvements and changes. (BZ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (68th, Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).