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M.S. Abtahi

Islamic Azad University (IRAN)
The need to use textbooks seems indispensable in any educational enterprise. Textbooks and teaching materials in today's classroom serve as tool and tutor, guidebook and gauge. Teachers all over the world use texts to guide their instruction, so textbooks can greatly influence how content is delivered. On the other hand, the use of textbooks can be regarded as closely related with evaluating textbooks and teaching materials. Hence, the ability to evaluate textbooks and teaching materials effectively is a very important professional activity for all teachers. In this paper, first of all we shall examine the reasons why teachers need to use and evaluate materials, then we will move on to discuss some important criteria that can be used to evaluate materials by suggesting a model that will be mainly based on macro - and micro - levels of evaluation respectively. Based on this model, it is first of all useful for teachers to perform an external evaluation of materials in order to gain an overview of the organizational principles involved, and then they should move on to a more detailed internal evaluation of materials to see how far the materials match up to the author's claims, learners' needs, and aims and objectives of a given program. The study will finally attempt to come up with some denouement on general characteristics of a good evaluation procedure. It is hoped that such a study can provide wider perspectives on some aspects of evaluating textbooks and prove to be of use to a range of readers including curriculum designers, material developers, textbook evaluators and interested educators.