Evaluation criteria of school textbooks

Issue 13

“Evaluation criteria of school textbooks”

Athanassios Trilianos


Due to the essential work that school textbooks perform in learning today and the fact that a variety of interesting views have been expressed about the characteristics of a good textbook lately, an attempt is being made in this paper to present an alternative proposition about the evaluation criteria of quality textbooks, that is a synthesis of research outcomes and personal experiences.

Thus the main question that has to be answered in this paper concerns the existence of generally accepted criteria upon which textbooks could be evaluated. In the discussion that follows the author argues in favour of four pillars of criteria based mainly on the perceptions of teachers, pupils and parents. Namely, 1) the content, in which the following sub-criteria are examined: 1.1 the correspondence between the content of the textbooks and the curriculum, 1.2 the scientific validity of the offered knowledge in textbooks, 1.3 the educational and social function of them, and 1.4 the structure and organization of their content; 2) the learning and teaching appropriateness in which are analyzed the sub-criteria of: 2.1 the learning and teaching methods, 2.2 the learning activities, 2.3 the pupils΄ motivation, and 2.4 the role of teachers and pupils; 3) the language and readability of the text; 4) the final form and printing of the manuscript which comprises the sub-criteria of: 4.1 the text, 4.2 the illustration, and 4.3 the aesthetics of the printing.

Having in mind the abovementioned criteria: a) the authors of the textbooks can proceed in writing successfully their manuscript, b) the evaluation committees can evaluate textbooks based on stable qualitative criteria, and c) teachers, pupils and parents can make the right selection of textbooks each time increasing thus the efficiency and joy of learning.