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Teachers as textbook makers: Doing it themselves to get it right

1 September 1994


This study examines a teacher's practice of altering her classroom textbook in order to better serve the academic needs of her students. Formal textbook publishing has grown into a complex process where publication politics are given more attention than a book's educational content. As a result of competing interest groups and publishers' policies, textbooks are criticized for lacking depth, clarity, and even accuracy. I have found that teachers are able to compensate for the weaknesses of their textbooks by "making" their own texts. Educators can exclude sections of their textbooks, ad,d in-depth information from other sources, and develop their own auxillaries, such as exams and videos. Developing content for a textbook not only strengthens the over-all quality of the information it contains, it also gives teachers the opportunity to coordinate classroom content with the interests and academic needs of their students.


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