Design student-centered textbooks to enhance the reading literacy of young people
Even though data released every three years ranks the nation as competitive, the latest PISA results on reading show that the quality of reading literacy in Taiwan and the teaching thereof. This paper argues that the most practical approach for equipping students to become better learners capable of learning through reading is to design student-centered textbooks. To achieve this goal, the cognitive and affective requirements of students in reading need to be understood. The principles of text readability also need to be understood. As such, two versions of current high school textbooks on history and biology were tested. The author shared personal observations of textbook design in Germany and indicated the possibility of learning from it in the future. Finally, based on past research experience, the author also offers suggestions for the future textbook design.
An historical analysis of the transformation of secondary level history from a single subject to its incorporation into social studies in the United States at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries
This paper analyzes the transformation of secondary level history from a single subject to its incorporation into social studies, a fused broad-field subject, in the United States of America at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. This study is based on a critical survey of curriculum documents initiated by “History Ten” (1893), “History Seven” (1898), “Committee on Social Studies” (1916), and other related literature. By explicating the processes of initiation and write-up of the documents, the author confirmed that the transformation of curriculum proposals was influenced by several factors, including change in the social atmosphere, evolution of educational thought, the struggles of various academic groups, and promotion by key figures. On the other hand, the change resulted in contradictions and compromises regarding the different views on what exactly secondary school students should be taught in regard to history and society. Although “social studies” as a named subject was recommended in a 1916 report, “history” is still one of several subjects within the broad-field curriculum organization taught for more than one hundred years in the United States.
Shan, W.-J. (2017). An historical analysis of the transformation of secondary level history from a single subject to its incorporation into social studies in the United States at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Journal of Textbook Research, 10(2), 33-66.
Analyzing the context of design in junior high school mathematics textbooks and teacher’s edition textbooks from the perspective of events of instruction: Using properties of triangles as an example
Textbooks are the important tool for learning mathematics and teacher’s edition textbooks are the primary instructional materials used by junior high school mathematics teachers in Taiwan. Based on Gagné’s events of instruction, three main versions of Taiwan junior mathematics textbooks and the teacher’s edition textbooks were examined using content analysis. The teaching context and the demonstration of instructional events in the chapter about the properties of triangles were analyzed. Results showed that teaching context and demonstration of instructional events from different versions of textbooks were similar. Five main instructional events: “present learning objectives,” “present new content and provide for learner guidance,” “provide for practice,” “assess performance,” and “provide for retention and transfer” were found in all the textbooks and their lesson plan compendia. The primary differences between the textbooks and teacher’s edition textbooks were the latter provided more feedback and transfer problems and the various current learning objectives. In addition to the five events of instruction described above, we suggest that remaining instructional events can be added to textbooks and teacher’s edition textbooks to provide learning opportunities for students and teaching resources for teachers.
Tso, T.-Y., & Lei, K. H. (2017). Analyzing the context of design in junior high school mathematics textbooks and teacher’s edition textbooks from the perspective of events of instruction: Using properties of triangles as an example. Journal of Textbook Research, 10(2), 67-97.
Investigation of elementary mathematics textbooks use in classrooms in Taiwan
This study aims to explore the use of mathematics textbooks by teachers from the perspective of fidelity to objective content of textbooks and the use of subjective intention. It probes into the factors of the use of textbooks by teachers. Forty-five elementary teachers with different backgrounds participated in this study. This study employed instructional observations and interviews during one academic year that demonstrate that teachers tended to use the mathematics problems in textbooks faithfully and they typically employed representations and solutions in sample problems. However, they usually relied on traditional lectures to present the problems and rarely provided students with opportunities for discussion or conceptual connection. In addition, the learning environment created was teacher-centered instead of focused on student comprehension thinking. Generally speaking, teachers faithfully used the objective content of textbooks, but there was a gap with the subjective intentions of textbook editing. Identification with the layout and representation of textbooks is the main reason that teachers faithfully used textbook content. However, due to lack of instructional time, teachers could not carry out mathematics instruction focused on key characteristics of reformed curriculum, including comprehension, active thinking, reasoning, and communication. Neither textbook version nor the mathematics background and teaching experience of teachers explained differences in the use of mathematics textbooks.
A study of internationally-published English textbooks from the perspective of English as a lingua franca concerning content and pedagogy
This study aims to examine internationally-published textbooks used at the tertiary level in Taiwan, especially in regard to content and pedagogy, from the perspective of English as a lingua franca (ELF). The English textbooks analyzed were used in English courses at a university where the study was conducted. This study employs textbook analysis, interviews with teachers, and class observations to determine (1) how and to what extent internationally-published textbooks reflect an ELF perspective, and (2) how course instructors treat the subject matter and activities presented in the textbooks to reflect an ELF perspective when taking into account the learners and the learning context. The study reveals that the internationally-published textbooks partially reflect an ELF perspective, but overlook the importance of raising learner awareness of ELF and the use of intercultural communication strategies. As for the adoption of the textbooks, the study finds that the teachers mainly taught the texts and reading exercises included in the units and would select and re-arrange unit content and exercises based on what they hoped to teach in their courses. Finally, implications that arise from the findings regarding the development of ELT materials with an ELF perspective are discussed.
Luo, W.-H. (2017). A study of internationally-published English textbooks from the perspective of English as a lingua franca concerning content and pedagogy. Journal of Textbook Research, 10(2), 133-159.