27 SES 03 C, Textbooks in Teaching and Learning Social Sciences
In spite of the new technological or ‘ICT era’ many researches clearly show persistent importance of the textbook in education.
The textbook is a resource for learning and has a developmentally formative role, so it is essential that all of its structural components are aligned in a harmonious and coherent manner in order to achieve learning objectives. In addition to the text, illustrations are next most important structural component in the textbook, designed with the purpose to enhance student’s learning from the book. There is a tremendous increase in the number of illustrations in modern textbook: pictures, drawings, maps, graphs, diagrams, tables, pies, posters, caricatures, photos, paintings, and the like due to active learning paradigm in teaching. However, this raises the question of the function of illustrations in textbooks. Answer to this question will be helpful in ensuring and improving textbook quality in its intention to support student’s learning from textbook.
The functions of illustrations in the textbook have been discussed in many researches. Illustrated text version was consistently better than the text-alone version, when measured the learning of information presented in both print and pictures. The relationship between the written text and illustrations is complex one not enough researched in specific subject areas.
Illustrations can be treated as mere “portrait of reality” (Novoa, 2000, p.25). The main focus of the meaning is on the visual representation of a phenomenon which is explained by text (giving an example, showing what things look like, decorating) - the representational type of illustration - and much less on explanation function – the non-representational type of illustration – that gives additional explanation, elaboration and extension of text.
In our opinion, in history teaching, which is the focus of our interest, representational illustrations are important at all ages of learner. But, from the very beginning of learning history non-representational illustrations have to be progressively included in textbook and increased with the students’ maturity and school level. When they start with history learning, students are not cognitively able for abstract or hypothetical- deductive thinking, but the learning of history might challenge and stimulate their cognitive development “pulling” their mind in the zone of proximal development. In this sense, illustrations as producers of meaning might be influential tool both for improving understanding and learning of history and for intellectual development of student.
Novoa, A. (2000). Ways of Saying, Ways of Seeing Public Images of Teachers (19th-20th Centuries), Paedagogica historica, special issue: The Challenge of the Visual in the History of Education,vol. 36, No 1, p.21-52 Mayer , R.E. 1993,Comprehension of graphics in texts: An overview. Learning and Instruction, Volume 3, Issue 3, 239-245 Levie, W. H., & Lentz, R. (1982). Effects of text illustrations: A review of research. ECTJ, 30(4), 195-232 Duchastel, P. C. (1980). Research on illustrations in text: Issues and perspectives. ECTJ, 28(4), 283-287. Johnsen, E. B. (1993). Textbooks in the kaleidoscope: A critical survey of literature and research on educational texts. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press. Mikk, J. (2000). Textbook: Research and Writing. Baltische Studien zur Erziehungs und Sozialwissenschaft, Band 3 (Baltic Studies for Education and Social Sciences, Volume 3). Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 275 Seventh Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001-6708. Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students' learning from text. Educational psychology review, 14(1), 5-26. Levin, J.R., and Mayer, R.E. (1983). Understanding illustrations in text. In B.K. Britton, Woodward, A., and Brinkley, M. (Eds.), Learning from Textbooks. NJ: Erlbaum Hillsdale, 95-113 Ivić, I., Pešikan, A.& Antić, S. (2013). Textbook quality. Braunschweig: Georg Eckart Institute Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students' learning from text. Educational psychology review, 14(1), 5-26. Tang, G. M. (1994). Textbook illustrations: A cross-cultural study and its implications for teachers of language minority students. The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, 13(2), 175-194. Depaepe, M. & Henkens, B. The history of education and the challenge of the visual Paedagogica historica, special issue: The Challenge of the Visual in the History of Education, vol. 36, No 1 (2000) , 11-17 Peeck, J. (1993). Increasing Picture Effects in Learning from Illustrated Text. Learning and Instruction, Vol. 3, pp. 227-238, Marsh, E. E., & White, M. D. (2003). A taxonomy of relationships between images and text. Journal of Documentation, 59(6), 647-672 Elkins, J. (2001). The domain of images. Cornell University Press. Pesikan, A. (2003). Nastava i razvoj drustvenih pojmova kod dece (Instruction and development of the child’s social concepts). Beograd: Zavod za udzbenike Shah, P., & Hoeffner, J. (2002). Review of graph comprehension research: Implications for instruction. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 47-69 Oruç, S., Baloglu Ugurlu, N., , Tokcan H., 2010,Using graphic illustrations with social studies textbooks. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 1037-1042
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