THE DIDACTIC-METHODOLOGICAL CONCEPTION OF THE TEXTBOOK
University of Zagreb, Centre for Croatian Studies (CROATIA)
Despite the increasing occurrence and importance of many visual and audio-visual tools, problem sets, internet packages and computer programs, in the process of education the textbook still represents the primary teaching tool and source of knowledge in the process of teaching and learning (Hummel, 1989; Tholey, 1994; Horsley et. al, 2001). Despite this scientifically confirmed fact about the importance and the many roles a textbook has in the process of teaching and learning there is no generally excepted theory of the textbook in scientific literature (Weinbrenner, 1992), as there is no consensus about evaluation criteria (Purves, 1993), especially considering its didactic-methodological standards. Due to this there is a need to set a firmer theoretical basis for the didactic-methodological conception of the textbook, what is the finally goal of my paper.
The determination of the didactic-methodological conception of the textbook as a way of structuring and organising text, methods and shapes, questions and tasks, sources of knowledge is according to my opinion based on defining and establishing didactic-methodological instruments, and then its didactic-methodological criteria. I will define the didactic-methodological instruments as a totality of all written and pictorial elements of the textbook whose role is to, in the process of teaching and learning, with the help of achieved didactic-methodological criteria, stimulate the student's motivation, the development of desirable skills and values, independent and team confrontation with specific problems, the will for lifelong learning etc..
The desirable didactic-methodological instruments and criteria of the textbook will be established on the basis of scientific literature which refers to:
(I) recent understanding related to teaching and learning,
(II) goals and tasks of didactics i.e. methodology of teaching,
(III) the design of the textbook with an emphasis on the functional and attractive layout, the use of illustrations, i.e. visual instruments, the readability of pages and other (Reints, 2002).
Considering my view how textbook instruments and its didactic-methodological criteria affect the student's reception, understanding, memorising, communication, motivation and self-learning as well as logic, organisation and structuring the process of teaching, the task of my research is to, primarily, answer the following questions:
What didactic-methodological instruments are desirable in textbooks?
Which didactic-methodological criteria must be achieved by textbook instruments?
What is the desirable didactic-methodological conception?
I believe that answering the previous questions and establishing didactical-methodical instruments and criteria of the textbook will greatly benefit future textbook researchers, authors of textbooks as well as teachers who are faced on a yearly basis with the dilemma of how to choose a textbook which will be good teaching and learning tool.