ERIC Number: ED292208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Sep
How Can We Improve Textbooks?
Armstrong, Jane; Bray, Judy
This document addresses the complex issues surrounding the production, selection, and use of textbooks in the context of the current educational reform movement. The first section discusses the need for textbook reform, examining the problems associated with their content, presentation, and supplementary materials. The second section discusses the difficulties attendant upon improving textbooks, since no one group has sole responsibility for improving instructional materials. Included is a discussion of how textbooks are used in the classroom, how selection is influenced by diverse curricular requirements, and how testing requirements, availability of funding, sales and promotional costs, market conditions, readability formulas, physical standards, and collective authorship complicate the process of textbook improvement. The third section discusses pitfalls of the textbook adoption process at state and local levels. Political influences in the appointment of textbook review committees are discussed, along with the problems that arise with textbook selection criteria. The final section addresses "the real cost of poor textbooks" in light of their long-range effects on teachers and students. This is followed by a list of options for administrators, policymakers, teachers, publishers, and professional organizations regarding the adoption process, assistance and resources, evaluation, and intergroup communication. (TE)
Descriptors: Costs, Educational Economics, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Politics of Education, Textbook Bias, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Preparation, Textbook Publication, Textbook Selection, Textbook Standards, Textbooks
Publications, ECS Distribution Center, 1860 Lincoln Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80295 (SI-86-2; $5.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.