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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Define Textbook and also discuss the characteristics of a good textbook


A textbook serves as a guide for a teacher and s student as well. Its content decides the destination of the both. To my mind, a textbook provides foundation for the instructional process. This also motivates the teachers and the students for instruction and learning. Here are some established and acknowledged definitions of a textbook. A textbook are a basic book used in a particular course of study. • A textbook is a book that is developed keeping in view particular curricular objectives, particular level of education and students possessing specific cognitive abilities. • The book that is developed for the purpose of seeking similarities in content and instructional activities organized for the students of various educational institutions. The salient characteristics of a textbook are mentioned in the following lines :-

Conformity with the objectives of curriculum :- 

A standard textbook conforms to the pre-determined objectives of curriculum. There must be coordination between the content of textbook and the objectives of curriculum. To me, every textbook is the most significant source of obtaining the curricular objectives. It it fails in achieving the aims of curriculum, it will definitely be regarded that there is no agreement and relationship between the content and the curricular objectives.

Harmony with national ideology :- 

Every nation leads life according to its philosophy of life which is reflected in the system of education. This very philosophy of life is presented in the textbook contents so that the new generation may get acquainted with it. A textbook is developed in the light of the segments of the national philosophy of life. All aspects of a textbook mirror the national ideology. It is obligatory for the learned writers to provide these necessary services in terms of the development of textbooks for the attainment of the broad objectives of education.

Logical organization :- 

A logical organization can be observed in the content, skills and other activities selected for the textbook. The flow of information and skills should be from simple to complicated, know to the unknown, easy to difficult and from abstract to concrete. The content of the textbook should be integrated, balanced, sequenced and harmonized. It should not be disintegrated and parted. All concepts presented in the textbook must be interlinked and logically connected so that they may assist in understanding one another.

Conformity with the capabilities of the learners :- 

A standard textbook must be harmonized with the interests, needs, psychological demands and mental level of the student. In this situation, the students will take keen interest in the educative and  instructional process. Otherwise, the educative process will end in nothing. If the textbook content is not in accordance with the psychological needs and cognitive level of the students, the students will exhibit fatigue and disinterest which will lead ,to wastage of academic and educational sources. A good textbook  attracts the students in many ways if it is developed according to the established principles.

Unbiased content :- 

The content and other learning experiences of a good textbook are unbiased and objective. There should be no_ amalgamation of the personal aspirations and attachments of the writers in the contents of the textbook. The textbook should be free from all those academic contents which hurt particular class of the individuals or a school of thought. The content of the textbook must address the whole mankind.

Comprehensiveness and simplicity :- 

Comprehensiveness and simplicity are the two primary traits of a textbook. The content of the textbook should be simple in nature and in presentation but should be comprehensive in impression and effect. The content should cover all the aspects of human life. In this way, the comprehensive aims of developing the personality of the individual shall be obtained. It is necessary for the developer of the textbook to avoid from irrelevant material but they must keep in mind the principle of comprehensiveness and simplicity during the development of the textbook.

Real-life experiences :- 

A good textbook makes the individuals aware of the experiences of real life. Curriculum is concerned with life and life is a reality. The experiences of life are the precious heritage of mankind. A textbook must consist of the human heritage. This heritage is transmitted to the students in terms of a textbook. Education is life and this life is presented in the textbook. In this regard, it seems necessary that the students should be acquainted with the truths of life so they may solve the problems of life.

Presentation of the content :- 

A psychological and logical order is observed in the presentation of a textbook. First of all, the topics are described and thereafter, such topics are mentioned in the textbook. The division of the content into topics and sub-topics facilitate the instruction and learning process. This division enables the teacher to teach a topic under various headings. On the other hand, it brings about facilitation in learning of a topic for the students.

External impression :- 

The external impression of a good textbook is always impressive and absorbing. The external impression includes printing on good quality paper, attractive title, appropriate volume, reasonable price and easily availability in the market. The external impression of a textbook matters much for a lay man. It is quite possible that a student begins to dislike a subject because of the unimpressive title of a textbook. It is also possible that a student cannot get benefit of a textbook because of its high price. The textbook should be free from all grammatical and typographical mistakes. Such mistakes may corrupt the meaning of the content and leave negative effects on the learning process.

Objectivity :- 

Objectivity refers to a tendency of viewing things on the basis of external truths and unbiased findings. It totally denies the personal desires and wills. A good textbook is marked with the feature of objectivity. The content of a textbook should be the spokesman of the external realities. All the content of a textbook should be verifiable. A textbook, lacking the quality of objectivity, cannot produce the students which the education system expects.

Explanation of the content :- 

The difficult points of a textbook are explained in terms of pictures, sketches, tables, concrete examples and diagrams. The use of these explanatory tools can bring about better instructional results. The students become able to understand the immaterial concepts presented in the textbook. The writers must be careful in the development of explanatory tools. They should keep the social values and curricular objectives during the development of these explanatory tools.

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