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Tønsberg: Høgskolen i Vestfold, 2001
Egil Børre Johnsen: Textbooks in the Kaleidoscope.
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Chapter V

The Development of Textbooks


In a lecture delivered when he was inaugurated into the Royal
Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in 1987,
Swedish literary sociologist Lars Furuland analyzed a
textbook that had dominated the market for several
generations (Furuland 1987). It was the Primary School
Reader, the literary "educator of the people" published in
1868, which virtually reigned supreme in Swedish schools
until the turn of the century. Although it met some
competition at that time, the work was nevertheless published
in newer, ever larger editions up until 1938, in spite of
having been subjected to strong criticism in both the previous
and present century from cultural and political quarters, as
well as censure by school personnel and well-known authors
such as Ellen Key, August Bondeson and Herbert Tingsten.
  Lars Furuland examined this criticism in light of comments
from pupils and teachers who had used the book during the
period under discussion.
  He also explained how the book came into being and
assumed its content: In 1862, history professor Fredrik
Ferdinand Carlson was appointed Sweden's minister of
education. Carlson was concerned about the school reader
issue, so he supervised the editing of a new reader, which was
compiled by a team of five men, all teachers in the higher
grades. Their specialties were language, literature, history,
forestry and physics. The reader was not a group effort in the
ordinary sense. All decisions were made by Minister Carlson,
who invariably had the last word on what should be included
in each of the seven fields of knowledge comprising the
comprehensive, universal work.
  Furuland also described the physical development of the
book, including the design of the cover, which had its own
special history.
  Lars Furuland then proceeded to outline and analyze the
book's content:

  My task here is to give a brief account of the origin of this
  textbook, to examine its content, especially the choice of
  texts, to comment on the debate about the book, including
  the views of autodidacts [self-taught individuals who have
  used the book without supervision] and, finally, to attempt
  to explain precisely why the evergreen became the insignia
  and symbol of the reader. (p. 3.)

This statement - and Furuland's analysis - contain the
elements of a rather process-oriented approach to textbook
 research which this chapter attempts to systematize into:

  - Authors,
  - Publishers, Authorities, Curricula and Teaching, and
  - Production and The Market.


An author's contribution to a completed textbook may be
seen as more or less significant, depending on how much
importance one attaches to such elements as curricula,
publishers, consultants and the school situation. The farther
back we go in time, the easier it is to find examples of
"great" textbook authors who dominated the market to such
an extent that their names sometimes became synonymous
with the subject itself. Yet no country can boast of having
produced a literary history of textbooks, so portrayals of
authors are rare although they are occasionally found in
connection with discussions of well-known books. One
exception is the biography of Joel Dorman Steele (Archibald
1900), who wrote history books. The "blatant" lack of
attention paid to these authors elicited the following
observation from the former head of the US Library of
Congress, librarian, textbook writer and essayist Daniel J.

  Textbooks have a basic role in civilization and the role is
  peculiar in a number of ways. Perhaps one of the most
  interesting is the disproportion between the glamour and
  prestige of the authorship of textbooks and the significance
  of textbooks in the civilization. A greater disproportion
  than there is, perhaps, in any other kind of authorship. (...)
  To be a textbook writer is considered to be below the
  competence and status of many scholars. (Library of
  Congress 1981, p. IX.)

Hélène Huot studied publishers' catalogs for the year 1989
(Huot 1989). She ascertained that in some subjects Nathan
listed only the book title and not the author's name. As a rule
Magnard listed only the authors' surnames, and Hachette
usually followed the same practice, surnames only, leaving
out even the authors' first initials.
  Boorstin and Huot describe the modern-day situation;
author teams are many and author profiles few. "In the
beginning" the situation was quite different:

  By the 1840s, we can already find individuals who made
  their fortunes by writing textbooks. In the classical field,
  the outstanding example is Thomas Kerchever Arnold, the
  author of a book on Latin Prose Composition which is still
  in use. Together with Kennedy's Latin Primer, this book
  lay at the centre of a dominant pattern of elite schooling
   well into the 20th century. Arnold produced dozens of
  books, many of which were either unauthorised
  translations from German books or collages, assembled
  from several sources. With Arnold and his rivals in the
  1840s, in fact, we encounter another predictable facet of
  capitalist production and marketing; plagiarism. By this
  time, the text as well as the book was coming to be seen as
  a commodity, the property of its creator, and this decade
  is marked by a series of controversies in which authors
  accuse each other of theft and attempt to establish their
  own claims of priority. (Stray 1991, p. 4.)

Prior to Arnold, who was British, two American textbook
authors experienced tremendous success in the USA. There
were two best-selling reading textbooks in the United States
during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The first
was Noah Webster's spelling book, the second was a series
entitled the McGuffey Readers, named after its original
author. Jennifer Monaghan has explored the substantive role
played by these authors in view of the commercial aspects of
their textbooks and their relationship to the books' success
(Monaghan 1991).
  It is possible to reduce the significance of individual
authors' contributions to textbooks for reasons which may in
themselves provide some explanation for the low status of
these writers. One may assume that a textbook will be marked
by its author's attitudes and norms. Even so, isn't the author
himself still a product of a collective consciousness, i.e., of
the attitudes prevalent in a given society at a given time" It
is often claimed that many voices can sometimes be heard in
pieces of fiction as well. But a novelist is not bound in the
same way by formal requirements regarding choice of subject
matter, suitability for the given level, accuracy or neutrality.
In textbooks, the collective consciousness is manifested as the
sum of directives and statements made by others, and it
places constraints on individual expression: "Even if it is not
possible to separate the one consciousness from the other, it
is important to point out that the consciousness of the text is
something greater than that of the individual writer or
publisher." (Thorson 1988, p. 126.) From that perspective,
even textbooks are not solely purveyors of fact. It cannot be
taken for granted that  textbooks meet the standards for
perspective and objectivity to which some of them aspire in
their prefaces.
  While this situation forms the basis for numerous
ideological analyses, it also deserves to occupy a central
position in an examination of the phenomenon of authorship.
Who are the people behind authors' names; what are their
backgrounds, how are they recruited, and what are their
motives for writing such books? Who are the editors and
consultants, both inside and outside the publishing houses,
and how much do they influence the final texts? What
traditions and interests have governed the author and/or his
  There are two systematic discussions concerning the role of
the author. Robert Bierstedt writes about "The Writers of
Textbooks" in Cronbach's book from 1955, and Egil Børre
Johnsen has included a chapter about authors in Hidden
Literature (Johnsen 1989). Bierstedt emphasizes that the
subject is unexplored territory. He bases the need for
examining the question of who really writes textbooks on the
main premise put forth in Cronbach's book: "If our
conclusions are sound, the text can be improved further."
(Cronbach 1955, p. 8.) Johnsen's point of departure is that of
a textbook writer. He focuses on professional awareness and
the professionalization process in particular. There are signs
that this trend is evolving in certain countries; for example,
both Norway and Sweden have separate trade unions for this
category of writer. Except in connection with trade unions,
it is difficult to find textbook authors categorized as a
separate occupational group. There are no public education
courses designed especially for them and no special
scholarships or prizes; textbook writing is not part of college
or university syllabuses, nor does it receive much media
attention. Johnsen examines the reasons why this is still true
in most countries. He finds a correlation between low author
status and increasing editorial participation in a progressively
more product-oriented publishing world. However, Johnsen
concludes that the changing situation in school and society
will bring about a new attitude toward the work of writing
schoolbooks - among writers, publishers, and the authorities.
New curricula, mainly emphasizing cardinal goals aimed at
stimulating local and regional (pupil) initiative, call for a
new, holistic evaluation of "form, language and artistic
content. Here we find the germ of a new occupational
awareness and a more marked perception of textbook writing
as a profession." (Johnsen 1989, p. 52.)
  As early as in 1955, in his lengthy report entitled "The
Publishing Process" (Schramm 1955), Wilbur Schramm
claimed that:

  It would be extremely hard if not impossible to find a
  group of 100 authors who have had an impact on the
  patterns of our text productions as great as that of the 100
  leading educational editors in the publishing houses of this
    Therefore, an important question is who are the editors?
  (P. 159.)

The fact that textbook writers are organized into trade unions
opens up certain possibilities for investigations into the
sociology of literature. In 1987 the Association of Norwegian
Non-Fiction Writers (whose name has since been changed to
the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers' and Translators'
Association) sent out a questionnaire to those members who
write general non-fiction books and/or textbooks (just less
than half the organization's members write textbooks only).
Of the 731 who replied, most had full-time jobs in other
fields. They had written a total of more than 4000 books, half
 of which were intended for use at various levels within the
educational system. 13 percent of the authors were primary
and secondary school teachers, but only four percent of those
who had written books for use in the primary school were
full-time primary school teachers in 1987. Three of four
authors were men, and their average age was higher than that
of fiction writers; most were between the ages of 40 and 55.
More than 50 percent of the writers lived in the metropolitan
Oslo area and nearly 20 percent of the others lived in other
parts of southeastern Norway (Sjøberg 1987).
  One would have to go all the way back to 1931 to find a
more scientific attempt to describe textbook authors'
professional backgrounds. At that time Herman G. Richey
published the results of his investigation called "The
Professional Status of Textbook Authors" (Richey 1931).
Richey's premise was that textbooks represent the work of
several persons ("for the most part, the results of
evolutionary processes and not purely the creations of those
who write them" (p. 67)). Nevertheless, he conceded that
textbooks bore the stamp of individual writers ("are given
character by the authors' conception of the purposes and
nature of education" (p. 67)). Richey believed that a study
which might possibly shed light on occupational groupings
and institutional ties could therefore give some indication of
the forces and interests that govern or are represented by the
authors. Richey registered 1562 textbooks in the subjects of
geometry, arithmetic, history and English, written by more
than a thousand writers and published in the USA from 1876
to 1926. The publications were organized into five decades
and grouped by subject. The authors were grouped according
to their occupations. During the period as a whole, almost
exactly 50 percent of the authors held teaching positions at
levels ranging from the university to primary school; the
others were either in school administration or no other
occupation was found or reported (the last group comprised
a total of 17 percent). This is quite different from the
situation today, when the majority of the authors are full or
part-time teachers. Another striking difference is that while
only a small number of university teachers write schoolbooks
today, this group dominated the field in the USA from 1876
to 1926, accounting for no less than 30 percent of textbook
authors in the decade from 1917 to 1926.
  The Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers' and Translators'
Associa-tion took the initiative to conduct a thorough study
dealing exclusively with textbook writers in 1990.
Questionnaires were sent to 626 authors of primary and
secondary school texts and responses were received from 361
of them. Behind the study lay acknowledgement of the fact
that authorship is a complex process. The object of the
questions was to chart the authors' assessment of central links
in the writing process. The questionnaire consisted of three
main parts: Authors' assessments of their collaboration with
the publisher, of their relationship to consultants and of the
correlation between textbook writing and teaching. On the
basis of the questionnaires, ten writers were selected for a
follow-up round based on personal interviews. The material
from the study was processed at the University of Tromsø
 (Haavelsrud 1991). The results indicate that radical
differences exist in initiation procedures and collaboration
routines between authors and publishers. This is the case
within individual publishing houses, from publisher to
publisher and from author to author under otherwise identical
conditions as regards subject and level. The authors were
unanimous in their response to the question concerning which
group they had in mind while writing - colleagues, teachers
or pupils. Without exception, they answered pupils. There was
somewhat less consensus about whether or not they
considered teaching experience a prerequisite for writing
textbooks, although the majority answered yes. One other
striking result was that a clear majority felt there was
considerable room for improvement before textbooks fulfilled
their real potential as teaching media. The study also
uncovered conspicuous dissatisfaction with much of the help
provided by consultants. A remarkable discrepancy was noted
in the amount of contact between authors and the various
types of consultants. While specialists maintain on-going
contact with authors more than 50 per cent of the time, less
frequent contact is established with the consultants whose job
it is to examine educational content, equality of status and
  The modest incidence of literature on textbook writing
may also be interpreted as an expression of how little
emphasis researchers and textbook theoreticians have placed
on the individual author's significance in the process. Quite
a significant amount of research has been done on the
language used in textbooks, but almost nothing has been done
on methods of approach or how the texts have come about.
The most important of the few contributions available stem
from the USA. Two were published at 60 year intervals and,
viewed together, they give a good picture of both the needs
and possibilities in this field.
  The first stands out due to its fresh approaches and
enlightened conclusions. When the National Society for the
Study of Education (NSSE) decided to devote their 1931
yearbook to textbooks, their intention was "to gather
information about the methods and procedures which authors
of textbooks in spelling, mathematics, reading, and the social
studies designate as scientific." (NSSE Yearbook 1931, p. 27.)
On the basis of a survey they conducted, Schorling and
Edmonson tried to figure out how various textbook authors
thought and worked. Their sources were the prefaces authors
wrote to their textbooks, articles authors had written on their
own fields and on education, the sources they listed in and in
connection with their books, and teachers' manuals and other
supplementary materials they might have written. The main
objective was to investigate the claim that appeared in
prefaces and advertisements throughout the 1920s, namely
"the claim that scientific techniques had been systematically
applied in creating the textbooks." (P. 27.) Based on the
source material - i.e., the authorial sources mentioned above
- which encompassed 246 titles, Schorling and Edmonson
mapped out, subject by subject, the textbook writers'
ideological backgrounds with special emphasis on their
professional-scientific alignments. The results as regards the
 subject of social studies are representative for the entire
study as far as the target group problem is concerned:

  In the field of the social studies for the first six grades,
  some textbook writers recognize at least three problems:
  determination of content for a designated grade, adaptation
  of materials to the reading abilities of the children
  concerned, and provision for motivation and individual
  differences. Apparently authors can secure slightly more
  objective help on the first of these problems than on the
  others. (My emphasis.) (Schorling - Edmonson 1931, p. 55.)

According to the study, the most important reference
materials used by textbook writers were other textbooks,
children's books, curricula, specialist statements, research
reports and psychology books. In addition, it turned out that
"a few authors conduct personal investigations and
experiments as a partial basis for their books" (p. 55). But the
writers concluded that such activity "is in the pioneer stage,
in which investigators are attempting to refine their
techniques." (P. 55.)
  The next time NSSE devoted an entire yearbook to the
subject of textbooks was in 1990 (NSSE Yearbook 1990).
There too, we find an article that deals with the role of
authors: "Writing and Editing Textbooks" (Young 1990). The
odd thing here is that hardly any research findings at all were
produced during the 60-year interval between the two
yearbooks. Nonetheless, the report is interesting as an account
of an alternative to the survey-type of investigation. The
author describes the revision and publication of a new edition
of a biology text, which was first published in 1921 under the
title Biology for Beginners. In 1978 it had 60 percent of the
American market, and plans were made to revise and reissue
it as Modern Biology. Work on the new 1981 edition took
three years, and editor Jean Young gives a detailed account
of its progress. Based on her description and the editor's
general experience, certain conclusions are drawn about the
role of the author. Young feels that the influence textbook
writers exert on the form and content of their books differs
significantly depending on subject and level. It appears an
author's influence is directly proportional to the book's level
of specialization and complexity. In 1947 James Otto became
co-author of Biology for Beginners. He then proceeded to set
a trend for other publishers' biology books which lasted for
more than 40 years: "Few authors enjoy this kind of
influence today. But those chosen for a specific educational
slant largely determine what is in textbooks." (P. 75.) Viewed
as a whole, Young's case is an account of a process whereby
authors appear to have something between a primary and a
secondary role:

  At Holt (the publishers), the science textbook authors were
  given ample opportunity to provide feedback on galleys
  sent to them for approval. However, editors have the last
   word because they are updated on feedback from
  customers, are aware of how much and what can go into
  the book, get feedback from consultants, and are
  responsible to meet the bound book date. One author
  complained bitterly about "the short, choppy" sentences
  of the 1978 edition of MB. But, the editor had purposely
  rewritten the sentences to comply with demands from
  customers for a lower reading level. (Young 1990, p. 76.)

In one of her sharp criticisms of the publishing trade, Harriet
Tyson-Bernstein goes so far as to assert that personal
authorship is often no more than an illusion, even when an
author's name appears on the cover. She refers to a review of
Professor Clarence Ver Steeg's well-known history book
American Spirit, where Robert Nisbet writes that:

  "(...) neither Professor Ver Steeg nor his four teacher-
  consultants wrote the book. Every sign suggests it was
  assembled by anonymous word processors - human as well
  as mechanical - working ingloriously in the recesses of the
  publishing factory." (Tyson-Bernstein 1988, p. 197.)

Hélène Huot claims that publishing houses try to recruit
authors primarily from among high-ranking school
administrators; a conspicuous number of books are written by
inspecteurs généraux or inspecteurs départementaux (Huot
1989, pp. 56-62).
  There are also a few cases in which the development of
textbooks has been placed in a somewhat less commercial and
more scholarly context.
  The first of these is particularly interesting in that it
concerns the question of authorship. Henriette S. Verduin-
Muller, a faculty member at the Geography Institute at the
State University of Utrecht, has written an account of a
textbook project in geography: "The Textbook: A Knowledge
Product" (Verduin-Muller 1990). Her basic premise is that
such radical changes take place when scientific knowledge is
translated into educational (textual) knowledge that the
textbook author's objectives and aspirations, as stated in the
preface, are often put to shame. The books are knowledge
products and they exist in their own world. If we want to
examine that, it's not sufficient to analyse texts on a linguistic
level, books on a technical level or user situations on an
educational level. We must also determine how the books
came into being. Indeed, an understanding of precisely that
process may be considered indispensable for selecting the
correct method:

  Finally, exploring the fundamental features of the process
  of constructing knowledge products, including textbooks,
  also implies in principle making methodologies available
  for textbook analysis. In other words, discovering the
  growth process also means getting a grip on the reverse
  process, namely that of analysis. (Verduin-Muller 1990, p.

 Verduin-Muller asserts that the moment one deals with the
textbook as a knowledge product, it becomes necessary to
know and evaluate the production process that lies behind it.
This has consequences for those who are going to write and
develop the books; "product-directed thinking and
production-directed thinking will go hand in hand once the
right conditions are established" (p. 6). This train of thought
lies behind a project led by one of Verduin-Muller's
colleagues, Frances Slater: People and Environments, Issues
and Enquiries (Slater 1986). Slater, a member of staff at the
Faculty of Education at the University of London, instructs
future teachers in how to teach geography. A publishing
house asked her to select experts to write a geography book
for upper-secondary school, "focusing on current
developments in society and in geographical education. (...)
The textbook manuscript emerged therefore as a network of
closely interlocking subject-content and learning activities."
(P. 9.) The unusual aspect of this approach was that it was not
a publisher's editor but a university-affiliated teachers'
training specialist who was in charge.
  Verduin-Muller also points out that while countless
manuals have been written on the art of writing well, the
deluge of books "says nothing as to the recognition of the
necessity to combine the art of writing and a knowledge of
the subject in hand." (P. 4.) There are also books that give
exhaustive presentations of the technical side of textbook
production. The most recently published (as of December
1992) is François Richaudeau's Manuel de typographie et de
mise en page (Richaudeau 1989). The book is based on the
idea that authorship and book production can take place at
one and the same desk today. Such books have been published
in other countries as well. Typically, Young's article (see
above, page 250) contains no references to literature that
deals with the text as a literary problem. On the other hand,
the author does refer to standard works such as David H.
Jonassen's two-volume opus, The Technology of Text (1982).
   In line with Verduin-Muller's view, there is probably
support for the claim that no thorough study has ever been
made of the relationship between knowledge and
literature/book in the school's or the individual subject's
popularization process. However, certain manuals go quite far
in that direction. One example is Leif Becker Jensen's book,
Out of the Ivory Tower from 1987. Becker Jensen teaches
"Communication and Information" at the University Center
of Roskilde. In 1988 he taught a graduating class in which
some of the students submitted a manuscript for a geography
textbook as their thesis.
  One of the few examples of an author's own case history is
Ludwig Helbig's "Identitätsprobleme eines
Schulbuchmachers" (Helbig 1979). Helbig, a professor of
political science in Ludwigsburg, wrote a social studies text
which he felt became a shuttlecock in shifting political winds.
In a strongly polemical article he rails about the randomness
of the evaluation process: The book was included on lists of
recommended titles one year but disappeared the next after
 elections brought about change of local government. When he
set about looking for a pattern in the changes that had taken
place over a period of several years, however, he found no
correlation with party politics at either the local or the
Bundesländer level. What he did find was inconsistencies in
recommendations from different schoolbook commissions, in
reviews in professional journals and in user reactions. The
three groups - Schulbuchzensoren, Rezensenten and Der
vorletzte Endeverbraucher (that is, the teacher) - are,
according to Helbig, victims of what he calls Ausgewogenheit:

  Motto: "Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything
  more than this comes from evil." (From the Sermon on the
  Mount, Matthew 5:37.) Counter-motto (for someone
  writing a political science textbook): "Let what you say be
  simply `Perhaps' or `Maybe'." And even that is not
  AUSGEWOGEN. (Ausgewogen = `equable', `well thought-
  through', `balanced', `objective'. (Etc.))
  I used to think there was one Ausgewogenheit for the CDU
  party and another for the SPD party, but it turns out that
  neither of the two Bundesländer where these parties have
  their respective strongholds, i.e., Rheinland-Pfalzen and
  Hessen, want anything to do with me. That is not always
  the case, however, a number of other CDU Länder and
  SPD Länder haven't rejected me at all. Here I am, I can do
  no more. (Helbig 1979, pp. 97 and 100.)

Helbig's confession indirectly highlights two relationships.
First, his thoughts and feelings say something about why the
possibilities for recruiting textbook writers are limited.
Second, the article is a reminder that no systematic
investigations have ever been made to examine either the
theoretical basis for or the practice of the various approval
  A parallel to Helbig's disclosure may be found in the USA,
where history book writer H. W. Bragdon gives a systematic
account of the compromises and changes he had to make
during the process of manuscript revision: "Ninth Edition
Adventures with a Textbook" (Bragdon 1978).
  There is also a most comprehensive collection of American
articles which bears a title that points in the direction of
(technical) text revision: Designing Usable Texts (Duffy -
Waller 1985). The book contains two articles about the role of
the author which are based on approaches not mentioned
above. In the first, Elizabeth Orna contends that most
textbooks authors complicate the textbook development
process and make it more expensive (Orna 1985), while the
other article outlines a training program for textbook writers
(Felker - Redish - Peterson 1985).
  Like many others, Patricia Wright (Wright 1985) contends
(in the same book) that the publisher often has the final word
on the texts, but Wright looks at this role in a new light: New
production techniques are simplifying the transformation of
text from manuscript to book, and that, she asserts, may
diminish the role of the publisher. David R. Olson (Olson
 1985) maintains that schoolbook texts create an illusion of
autonomy, authority and objectivity. The illusion is based on
tradition and technique more than personality. The rationale
underlying Duffy and Waller's book is that a new theoretical
foundation is required if the books - possibly - are to appeal
to readers personally and directly: "(...) we lack a common
language for discussing functional text." (Preface, p. XIV.)
  In other words, little research has been done on textbook
authors. Our lack of progress may have something to do with
the attitude commonly adopted with respect to textbooks and
textbook writers. Low status is a factor that occurs repeatedly
in the articles of a more personal nature written by textbook
authors themselves (Hellern 1988, Johnsen 1988). In one such
article, Victor Hellern writes:

  Today's curricula usually contain such broad formulations,
  or teaching guides as they are called, that textbook writers
  and publishers actually enjoy great freedom. The problem
  is that only a few avail themselves of this freedom or have
  enough imagination to move off in new directions. (Hellern
  1988, p. 32.)

Insofar as Hellern is right, one might ask whether it might
not be worthwhile to investigate the reasons for this passivity.
In 1983 the AFEF (Association Française des Enseignants de
Français) organized a round-table debate on the subject. The
proceedings were printed in the organization's journal (Le
Français Aujourd'hui 70/1983), where one of the country's
best-known textbook authors, Alain Pagès, gives a definition
of something called "Autonomie du discours pédagogique."
He is searching for a concept to prove that what appears in
textbooks is something other than and more than popularized
simplifications. It is not "un discours scientifique au rabais",
and the author is not "un auteur d'articles qui simplifie ses
connaissances". On the contrary, the writer is - or ought to
aspire to be - one who brings his message in his own language
and that of the genre: "Il est quelqu'un qui tend vers un
message autonome et original". (Pagès 1983, p. 18.)
  Such a self-description kindles expectations of an authorial
role with higher status. But since the role of the textbook
author remains strongly linked to other parts of the
production process, "authorship" remains a question of the
publisher's role as well.

Authors and Publishers
Frank A. Jensen (Jensen 1931) sent a questionnaire to 36
major US textbook publishers and received replies from 33 of
them. The answers were "of such general character that they
cannot be reported in tabular form, but typical replies are
quoted as evidence for conclusions reached" (p. 80). The
answers to the question of how the publishers obtained
manuscripts showed first of all that they themselves took the
initiative, usually through a network of regular contacts in
the school system. Secondly, it was such personal contacts that
 resulted in books; an average of only five percent of the
manuscripts submitted by "outsiders" were accepted. Jensen
doesn't mention the number of unsolicited manuscripts
compared to the number of recruited ones, but all the replies
cited indicate a fair number. Yet it did not appear that
publishers wanted to accept them for publication: "Practically
no manuscripts submitted to our editorial department are
accepted. We usually find the author we think likely to
produce the type of textbook we want and then work with
him in planning the book and in working it out." (P. 85.)
  The responses to the question of to what extent and/or how
manuscripts were revised by the publishing houses varied
somewhat from one publisher to the next and may indicate
different practices. In a few unusual cases manuscripts were
not revised, but authors usually made changes as advised.
Sometimes other authors were assigned the job of rewriting
a text. Nearly all the replies indicated that the publishers'
suggestions for revision were perceived as constructive
criticism. In-house revision was a regular routine in one of
the biggest companies, which replied:

  Most successful textbooks are made by publishers' editors
  and not by the authors. Ninety percent of all manuscripts
  that come into the publisher's office have to be rewritten
  from a to z. Either the author does this according to
  specifications agreed upon with the publisher's editor, or
  the editor does it, or they both work together. The
  publisher's viewpoint is a national one; the author's
  viewpoint as a rule is a more or less local one. Textbooks
  have to be made to suit the needs of all the states. (Jensen
  1931, p. 89.)

Jensen also inquired about "experimental editions", that is,
the extent to which publishers produced sample texts for
testing in selected classes with a view to further development.
All the publishing houses answered the question, but: "It does
not seem to be the general practice to print experimental
editions to try in the schoolroom. Most publishers assume that
the author has tried his technique and content in the
classroom before putting his material into manuscript form."
(P. 91.)
  Jensen's observations concerning publishers' author
recruitment, manuscript editing and experimental activities
are more than 60 years old. No subsequent studies have been
made to indicate any change in these practices. That does not
necessarily mean that the situation is unaltered or little
changed - we simply lack research. In the meantime, Jensen's
observations were corroborated by the findings of Olson
1985, Wright 1985 and Young 1990. M. Brammer gives a
comparable account in the article "Textbook Publishing"
(Brammer 1967), in which he feels justified in claiming that
editors and publishers are both the originators and the authors
of textbooks. All these studies pertain to the USA, but the
survey conducted by the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers' and
Translators' Association in 1990 (Haavelsrud 1991) indicates
similar results in Norway on the same points.
   Presumably, the strong publishing house tradition offers a
partial explanation as to why most literature on the
development of textbooks primarily focuses on the publishers'
role, usually as it relates to the authorities, teachers and the
market more than to writers. But there is probably another
explanation as well: Most of the literature referred to here
stems perforce from the academic community. Broadly
speaking, such groups have traditionally combined a certain
faith in the professional integrity of public regulatory
mechanisms such as schools, curriculum plans and teachers,
with a correspondingly strong skepticism toward
developmental endeavors originating in the commercial
  The actual development of a text - the writing, rewriting
and editing - is probably that aspect of textbook production
as a whole which has received the least amount of attention
in relation to the work it involves. The scanty research done
so far offers very little basis for considering the opportunities
and possibilities in the area. In consequence, I have chosen to
add to this discussion a section which incorporates
perspectives drawn from the field of fiction-writing.

Textbook Authorship from the Perspective of Fiction
The author-publisher issue has not occupied a very central
position in literary research either. Nevertheless, it has
traditionally held a certain place in literary history, and the
increasing interest shown in the sociology of literature in
recent years appears to be reinforcing this position. Drawing
an analogy with the work of fiction writers might provide
grounds for a closer scrutiny of several aspects of the
situation pertaining to textbooks.
  Of course, there are certain similarities. Publishers often
contribute appreciably to the completion of fiction
manuscripts. Independent consultants and the authors's
"own" editor can influence and revise what the author has
written to a significant degree. Fiction projects sometimes
require a publisher to make a larger investment in terms of
time and scope than textbook projects. On the other hand, we
are dealing with a type of literature essentially comprising
intellectual products which have not been solicited by the
publishers. In principle, such products rarely get anywhere
unless they display originality right from the outset. Although
this point of view may be valid for a great deal of fiction, it
certainly doesn't apply to the entire spectrum. The boundary
lines are fuzzy: What about popular young people's series or
crime series that regularly feature the same heroes? Such
cases bear a strong resemblance to textbook publication. The
publishers ask the authors to produce more of the same. The
writing staff may be changed or replaced while Knut Gribb
(hero of a popular Norwegian private investigator series) or,
for that matter, an introductory course in chemistry, endures.
 A cynical extension of the parallel might then postulate that
just as publishers give crime readers what they want,
textbook editors take care to give their series a single,
uniform profile for the following reason: "We give teachers
what they want based on what we already know they want."
A number of article writers contend that publishers have no
option but to think this way, not least to protect their profits.
The publishing house staff members who reply to such
criticism usually say that teachers are a very conservative
professional group. But we know too little about this point as
yet; it involves not least the question of how books reach
schools and how they are selected.
  Language studies are of particular interest in this context
as the field covers both poetry and prose. What is the ratio
between fiction and non-fiction? What does each contribute
to the effectiveness of foreign language-learning? How are
they combined in mother-tongue language studies? Why do
some publishers produce anthologies where each genre is put
into a separate volume, while others combine many genres
into one book? Literature anthologies for the upper secondary
level show a striking divergence between 19th and 20th
century books: The former contain a significantly stronger
element of non-fiction prose. More recently, a distinction has
emerged between anthologies for academic and vocational
courses: The latter contain a noticeably stronger element of
non-fiction. Why? It is not unreasonable to assume that the
distribution of genres, and the way they are grouped, may be
seen as ideological and educational expressions which, like
the texts they incorporate, can mold pupils' perception of the
relationship between language and reality.
  As regards how the topic of school is dealt with in adult
fiction, the attitudes expressed there must be seen as a
reflection of some reality (Johnsen 1989a). I will now present
some fiction texts which, although written by adult authors,
also say something about pupils' reactions to textbooks. It is
virtually impossible to find written pupil evaluations of
textbooks in other contexts. Some of the texts discussed here
may also provide examples of more complex authorial roles
than those ordinarily associated with textbooks. The classic
textbook depiction, insofar as it exists, consists of a
declaration of love for particular books. This may be a vivid
history book, such as when Martin A. Hansen allows the
protagonist in his short story Agerhønen (1947) to get through
some difficult times thanks to Nordahl Rolfsen's World
History for the Young (1903). Martin A. Hansen subsequently
re-addresses the same book and the same theme in an essay
with the provocative title "The World Novel" (1956). The
type of book most often applauded, however, is the reader,
as it usually provides a longed-for counterbalance to factual
studies. Thomas Mann opens his introduction to a special
edition of Adalbert von Schamissor's classical story Peter
Schlemihl with such praise. Typical for this type of
expression is the way in which Mann emphasizes enjoyment
and safety; reading was "not dangerous and almost a
pleasure". Another typical feature, for Thomas Mann and his
contemporaries, that is, was belief in the literary canon as an
 educational criterion: "(...) and although any comrade who
proved uninterested or awkward here (i.e. in reading) could
excel in any other special field, he was still perceived as an
uncultivated being" (Mann 1935, p. 145).
  Anyone attempting to register instances of textbook
descriptions in fiction would probably discover a
preponderance of negative attitudes. The most convincing
example, and perhaps the best known today, involved a
feature film that swept across the USA and Europe in 1990.
It was Peter Weir's dramatization of Tom Schulman's story,
Dead Poets Society (1989). One of the film's main themes is
poetry and prose juxtaposed as two clearly separate modes of
life. The setting is a school called Saint Andrew's, located
somewhere in the USA, and the year is 1959. A new teacher,
armed with poetry and experience of life, challenges the
stifling conformity of the school. The contrast is illustrated
by a scene where he tells everyone in the class to tear up the
pages of their literary history books. Afterwards, the pupils
leave the school building to go outside and read Keats aloud.
  Although it is more difficult to find depictions that are
complimentary to textbooks in general, they do exist. English
poet and novelist Roy Fuller wrote a classic school novel, The
Ruined Boys, published in 1959, the year in which Peter
Weir's film is set. The protagonist is a new pupil at a public
school called Seafolde House. The author allows him to
overcome the insecurity of being new through learning and
books. The traditional school novel conflict between syllabus-
cramming teachers/books and unwilling pupils is turned
around; the main theme is the joy and strength that can be
discovered through learning:

  As Gerald accumulated his new form's textbooks in his
  desk and on the shelf by it, he was seized with a vague but
  intense excitement, as though within his grasp was some
  key to happy existence, and he perceived that even in the
  most unlikely places there resided a mysterious fascination.
  He saw, for instance, that the last chapter of the algebra
  was on the Binomial Theorem, and the words struck him
  like the half-familiar words "Gobi Desert"might strike a
  traveller who against all expectations is in fact about to
  start off on an expedition to Central Asia.
  In spite of the fears that had beset him as he made the
  change, he soon found that the work of the new form was
  not beyond his powers, and quite quickly he could look
  back on last term as the owner of an electric train
  remembers his clockwork mouse. (My emphasis; Fuller
  1959, p. 92 in the 1987 edition.)

Even in light of the fact that we are dealing with the reality
of a novel here, we would be too hasty if we failed to stop
and ask what kind of school books were capable of evoking
feelings like this in the 1950s. It is also necessary to know the
circumstances surrounding Gerald's enthusiasm. Roy Fuller
doesn't seem to allow his character to take refuge in books,
since the protagonist eventually finds a place in school
 society. Nor is the school represented as idyllic, i.e., as a place
where a love of books is acquired as part of the package; the
teachers are neither great heroes nor great villains. The books,
the textbooks, become the focal point in the life of a pupil
with quite unexceptional gifts and a highly ordinary thirst for
knowledge. Granted, we are dealing with fiction, but at least
Fuller's novel demonstrates that a so-called realistic and
strongly autobiographical story can deal with the concept of
textbook authorship having moral and educational value. As
the quotation shows, this train of thought couples mysticism
and fantasy on one hand and factual knowledge on the other.
In other words, the same kind of books that impede young
people's development in Tom Schulman's story become
instruments to break down barriers in Fuller's.
  Roy Fuller's depiction can be seen as a literary hypothesis
about textbooks' potential for combining vision and reality.
In the world of reality there is at least one example of a
particularly successful experiment which can be cited in
support of such a hypothesis. I'm referring to Selma
Lagerlöf's schoolbook about the Swedish nation and people,
Nils Holgersson's Wonderful Journey Through Sweden from
1906. In his monograph about the book, Gunnar Ahlströhm
writes about this combination in the chapter called
"Schoolbooks and Poetry". The book owes its success to the
fact that "knowledge acquires the wings of poetry" and
accompanies the reader as a trustworthy guide on a journey
through a world full of wonders. However, this "wonderful"
world is no imaginary fantasy landscape - it is the kingdom
of Sweden. Portrayals of events and scenes pour forth as
though streaming from an "inexhaustible wellspring of
imagination". (Ahlströhm 1942, p. 221.)
  Selma Lagerlöf's book is the most internationally known of
those in the tradition of "tales of lands and peoples". It was
directly inspired by Nordahl Rolfsen's Norwegian readers and
has roots and parallels in books such as Fénelon's Les
aventures de Télémaque, Walter Scott's Tales of a
Grandfather and Topelius' Book about Our Country. One
French forerunner was the reader that affected the entire
Third Republic - Bruno's Le tour de France par deux enfants.

  One other series of tales was probably used in school as
much as Bruno's during the same period: Alsace writers
Erckmann and Chatrian's historical and geographical accounts
for children and young people (L'Ami Fritz (1864); Histoire
d'un Conscrit de 1813 (1864)). The authorship was a
symbiosis which at one and the same time demonstrated and
combined various approaches to the task of writing "with a
moral". In a biography subtitled Le trait d'union (The
Hyphen), Jean-Pierre Rioux describes his view of the ideal
educational "team":

  One cannot count on dividing assignments as Erckmann
  once described: "He (Chatrian) relieved me of all the
  problems which could get in the way of my writing." If
  one studies his correspondence and essays carefully, one
  will arrive at more subtle conclusions. L. Schoumacker has
   expressed it thus: "The idea always came from Erckmann
  alone; but it was developed by Erckmann and Chatrian
  jointly, then written by Erckmann alone, with subsequent
  editing together with Chatrian, before the latter took over
  responsibility for the further progress." (...) He
  (Erckmann) constructs scenes and plots. He then sends the
  drafts by letter or describes them directly to Chatrian, who
  makes suggestions for changes in both form and content.
  This inter-action goes on continuously; chapters are revised
  at Erckmann's home almost daily. (Rioux 1989, p. 107.)

One might say that in the case of Erckmann-Chatrian, the
combin-ation of the fanciful and the down-to-earth was
somehow trans-ferred to the plane of authorship.
Characteristic of their books, as of Nils Holgersson's
Wonderful Journey Through Sweden, is the total confluence
of fiction and non-fiction. This phenomenon should offer a
useful point of departure for more thorough reviews of the
fiction/non-fiction issue, on philosophical as well as
educational grounds: To what degree ought or can the view
that every depiction of reality must involve selection and
interpretation have an impact on the writing of textbooks in
general knowledge subjects and languages at the primary and
lower-secondary level, for example, or perhaps even at higher
  The Argentine/French author Julio Cortázar has offered
his own answer to such questions. He argues that all
information should in principle be accessible to children who
read. The only prerequisite is that the material be presented
in an atmosphere expressive of a love of life; of faith and joy.
In his book Libro de Manuel (Cortázar 1973), the author
relates how the adults (family and friends) in a group of
revolutionary socialists try to arrange the life of a boy named
Manuel. They fail to find any suitable school books, so they
comment on the texts found in the every day world around
them, addressing themselves to Manuel. In this way Libro de
Manuel becomes both a documentary novel and a recipe for
textbooks (manuel(o) means textbook in French and Spanish).
The main objective is not the conveyance of knowledge
alone, but also that which curricula would call the
"conveyance of values", and Cortázar's critics call
"indoctrination". The text moves in a rather fixed direction;
the boy is supposed to read himself to a faith in life and
develop "the urge to love and play, and the need for a
worthy life on earth not dominated by elbows and dollars."
(Cortázar 1974, pp. 8-9.) Such a statement of objectives
would hardly be found in any country's curriculum
guidelines. But the reality contained in the statement doesn't
deviate much from the goals that underlie such guidelines.
The anomaly arises when Cortázar, in his capacity as a
linguistically and philosophically trained writer, uses new
words to describe the new reality around him, whereas the
textbooks continue to use the old words.
  Cortázar's textbook took shape almost overnight within a
circle of family and friends. It became a kind of
manifestation of the educational possibilities of the extended
 intellectual family. Yet even if we disregard the personal
aspect of the development of such a book, it is clear that no
production, distribution or consumer apparatus anywhere
would approve a textbook designed according to Cortázar's
pattern today. However, that certainly doesn't mean that his
model or, for that matter, the other models of a more literary
nature that have been mentioned previously, need remain
untried in the field of author/publisher collaboration.
Experimentation in this area probably never became more
comprehensive than it was in Jensen's 1931 investigation
because we still know too little about the consequences of
such solutions.

There is something stereotyped and rigid about the few
investigations and the modest number of articles in this field.
The literature has dealt with authors' backgrounds and/or
their relationship to publishing houses. The term background
generally refers to a run-down on the authors' educational
and professional qualifications, more than to their sex, age or
place of residence. As regards authors' relationships to
publishing houses, it is natural to compare the studies with
the investigations that examine the question of textbook-
centered versus teacher-centered teaching. As mentioned
elsewhere, it is sometimes tempting to believe that such
investigations are motivated by the desire to expose teacher
dependence (see page 177). In the same way, the prevailing
view in the literature on textbook authors is that they have
become increasingly more dependent on and at the mercy of
powerful publishers' editors (exceptions from this attitude
may be found in Cronbach 1955 and Pagès 1983). There are
very few studies of obvious topics such as the process of
textbook writing, the relationship between one or several
authors or the relationship between an author's name and
book distribution. Facts from such fields might provide
sufficient grounds for comparative quality studies, for
  The distribution of different procedures and materials
within such a modest body of literature is an interesting
topic. The most common approach is the use of
questionnaires, which has dominated the field for generations
(Richey 1931, Haavelsrud 1991). The questionnaires have
occasionally been combined with interviews (Haavelsrud
1991). There are also several detailed case stories (Bragdon
1978, Helbig 1979, Moffett 1988, Young 1990), which
provide useful material for shedding light on authors'
independence of approval systems and/or publishing houses.
Prefaces written by authors are still another source, if
possible, in combination with any articles in which the
authors may have commented on their backgrounds or
objectives (Schorling - Edmonson 1931). One objection
concerns the fact that it is quite possible to write a preface
that states specific objectives without those same objectives
ever being fulfilled in the book. When supplemented by other
analyses, the prefaces may directly or indirectly provide
 signals about attitudes and personalities, thus elucidating the
metadiscourse used in the books, for example (Crismore 1984;
see page 205). One might compare the situation to that of
church records, which list nothing except who has been
registered as parents, while this narrowing to the purely
formal facts does not prevent geneological research.
  Such reports and independent articles have usually been
written in essay form. One essay which is outstanding for
both its scope and depth is Robert Bierstedt's contribution to
Cronbach 1955. It involves an analysis undertaken by a
sociologist. Bierstedt bases his essay on theory rather than on
any special collection of data. He draws up the framework for
a social science-oriented analysis of textbook authorship
written from the perspective of the entire literary institution
more than a generation before this same phenomenon became
a key word in the world of literary research. His summary is
cited in the present context because it underlines the
complexity inherent in an analysis of the authorial role and
because it says something about how constructive it might
prove to be to take this particular approach as a point of
departure for examining the whole:

  We have noticed several social and economic factors which
  determine the selection of textbook writers. We have
  attended also to the cultural influences, of both a
  situational and an ideological character, which enter into
  the transmission of a culture, by way of the textbook, from
  one generation to the next through the institution of
  education. Some of these factors are too profound and
  some of them are too subtle for any analysis short of that
  supplied by a sociology of knowledge. Others, like the
  influence of national allegiances, have been treated in
  many competent studies, and are matters of continuing
  concern to statesmen and educators and authors alike.
  Some, finally, are unique, and these appear because the
  authors of textbooks occupy unique statuses in a society.
  (Bierstedt 1955, p. 128.)

Publishers, Authorities, Curricula and Teaching

First of all, the development of a textbook presupposes the
production of text. In physical terms, this work is directly
related to writing and responding to writing. As pointed out
earlier, there are few investigations of or reports on exactly
how this process works.
  Second, the development of a textbook entails that text
production is constantly influenced by given external
parameters that dictate the objectives and potential of the
final product: School systems, curricula and publishing house
practices. The term "the development of textbooks" is used
in a third sense as well. In many countries today, the external
parameters are flexible enough to allow and even encourage
"development" in the sense of innovation. (Walker 1991.)
  The point at issue is how personal, institutional and
traditional interests influence development. Different forces
will exert different influences at different times during the
development process. For example, curricula will most likely
exert more influence than the publisher in the early stages of
the process, although this situation will gradually shift.
  Another issue is that of stability. The school situation,
curricula and publisher policy may remain stable for quite
some time. Yet schools and plans can change in the face of
shifting political and educational winds which do not
necessarily coincide. Publishing house policy and practice will
also be influenced by factors such as market conditions and
approval schemes. These influences need not be synchronized
with other influences. On the other hand, generally weak
local and national economies that affect school budgets will
most likely influence both the school situation and publishing
policy. We see this situation in a number of countries in the
early 1990s.
  These problems are hard to examine due to their scope and
complexity. One might well ask whether there is any point in
studying the development of textbooks - or of any particular
textbook - in light of isolated factors such as author,
curricula and publisher, since they are all related to one
another. The situation is complex because each factor
influences the others, based on its own input factors which
vary from group to group. The school system and its courses,
levels, class sizes, teacher competency, number of periods and
examinations are all fixed entities. Teachers, however,
exercise considerable latitude. Curricula are to be respected
and followed, but their influence merely as teaching guides
for individual subjects is expanding steadily. Some people
 contend that publishers' books exert more influence than
plans and teachers. Still, the use of textbooks is not
obligatory. It all boils down to the fact that from concept to
desk, books are developed and chosen by people who
interpret guidelines. It is therefore interesting to know
whether any studies have investigated the following questions:
Are there historical patterns which show the relationship of
these elements to one another? Are there any traditions of
interpretation that prevail despite formal changes in the
system? If so, do theory and practice differ to the same
extent in all the groups?
  Few studies have been conducted in this area, but the
number of articles written on the subject may indicate that
the field is deserving of study. Articles of this type are
occasionally written by teachers or authors, but more often by
parents or publishers, although researchers sometimes attempt
to put pieces together to form a pattern. Some of the
contributions from the researchers provide sufficient material
to comprise building blocks, although the foundation may
still be lacking.

As mentioned, the number of articles written by publishers
is greater than the corresponding number of contributions
written by textbook authors. Opinions of this type are often
published when a public debate arises about a particular
textbook. Publishers wrote a number of articles in the wake
of Frances FitzGerald's criticism of American publishers'
single-minded quest for profits (see page 98). As a typical
example, I have selected a lecture delivered by John H.
Williamson, president of the Silver Burdett Company, to the
1979 textbook conference held by the Library of Congress
(Williamson 1981). The lecture was entitled "Textbook
Publishing: Facts and Myths." An inventory of the "myths"
on which Williamson based his lecture gives indirect insight
into the forces at work in the relationship between publisher
and system. I will not delve any further into the "facts" that
Williamson cites to dispel what he calls myths. They are
presented in abbreviated form in parentheses below each
point. My primary intention has been to register areas in
which we should learn more about how forces work with
and/or against one another:

  1 The textbook industry is enormous. (Not at all; total
    gross annual sales to school systems in the USA are ca.
    USD 700 million. The Xerox Corporation alone has a
    turnover of 8 times as much.)

  2 Schools spend a lot of money on textbooks. (No; an
    average of 0.75 % of a school's budget is used to buy

  3 Textbook publishers have large profit margins. (No; the
    average corresponds to a normal savings account interest

  4 Publishers are exclusively motivated by profit. (The
    market is limited and specialized and must therefore be
     served on its own terms. Consequently, textbook
    publishing personnel are therefore often recruited from
    the school system.)

  5 Textbook publishers refuse to print inexpensive
    unbound editions. (Experience shows that schools don't
    want books that wear out quickly.)

  6 Unbound editions are much cheaper than bound. (The
    price difference is minimal.)

  7 Publishing personnel without any real teaching
    experience write the books, while sales personnel
    determine the contents. (Content, level, and design are
    determined by the author and publisher in cooperation.
    The opinion of the sales department is taken into
    consideration; sometimes it is accepted, other times

  8 Publishers have a broad network of contacts in schools
    and can control what happens in the classroom.
    (Publishers must find their way through a maze of
    educational bureaucracy before finally arriving in the
    classroom. A textbook's influence is in the hands of the

  9 Textbooks are one of society's most powerful political
    instruments. (History shows that legislators, planners and
    lobbyists have been frustrated in their efforts to control
    development through textbooks.) (Williamson 1981, pp.

Readily available statistics will most likely bear out the facts
and views Williamson presents in the two first points of his
entries. The situation is more obscure as regards the latter
parts, however, and his claims are more debatable. Yet the
point here is not to switch back and forth between "fact"
and "myth", but to demonstrate how decisive a publisher's
role must necessarily be in the life of a textbook from its
inception to the student's desk. This key role is double insofar
as the publisher is the sender, receiver and intermediary
between sender and receiver, all at the same time. A
publishing house receives regulations, curricula, manuscripts,
consultant evaluations, teacher responses and sales statistics,
and it publishes books. At the same time, a publisher acts as
an intermediary between the various parts of the school
system because its editors have to interpret plans, directives
and needs in light of their interaction with authors and
teachers. This interpretation finds its way to the end-user in
the school system through textbooks.
  It is not uncommon to find textbook editors who have
taught school, written textbooks and been actively involved
with teaching plans and consultancy work for publishers
and/or the authorities. In this way they serve "their own
interests" to some extent by creating values based on
 educational ideals, and they serve the publishing company's
interests to some extent by generating financial values.
  This predicament is discussed in Michael W. Apple's
lengthy essay "The Political Economy of Text Publishing"
(Apple 1984). The author also refers to a more comprehensive
study made in the early 1980s (Coser - Kadushin - Powell
1982), which concludes that most executive positions are held
by men, that few editors apply for these positions because of
any special interest in education, and that nearly 75% of them
started in sales or marketing. All these points can probably be
challenged when looking at Norwegian publishing in the
1990s. With regard to American publishing traditions,
however, Apple concludes that chief editors:

  will be predominantly male, thereby reproducing
  patriarchal relations within the firm itself. Second, their
  general background will complement the existing market
  structure that dominates text production. Financial
  capital, short-term perspectives, and high profit margins
  will be seen as major goals. A substantial cultural vision
  or the concerns associated with strategies based on
  symbolic capital will necessarily take a backseat, where
  they exist at all. (P. 313)

Apple's distinction between financial and symbolic capital
stems from Frenchman Pierre Bourdieu's theory on the
reproduction of knowledge in school and culture. Apple uses
this distinction to differentiate between the main types of
publishers. Publishers motivated by financial capital think in
terms of short-term profits; publishers seeking primarily to
accumulate symbolic capital have long-term goals. Profits are
equally important to the second group, but it will tend to
allow more latitude for experimentation and risk-taking.
  Apple points out that this kind of distinction is theoretical
and implies a gross over-simplification of the facts. The
production and sale of books are primarily influenced by the
financial capital motive, but also by a number of conditions
that in addition will vary from one publisher to the next,
regardless of type (see Goldstein, page 306). There is:

  a whole array of differences concerning the kind of
  technology that is employed by the press, the
  bureaucratic and organizational structures that
  coordinate and control the day-to-day work of the
  company, and the different risks and monetary and
  marketing policies of each. Each also refers to important
  differences in relations with authors in time scheduling
  and, ultimately, in what counts as "success". Behind the
  commodity, the book, thus stands a whole set of human
  relations. (P. 310; my emphasis.)

There is another argument that also appears to support
Apple's view. Textbooks are based on formalized guidelines.
The subject per se, government policy and the curricula
provide frameworks that span the range from proposal to
directive. B. Cooper investigated changes over time in the
 subject of mathematics, using textbooks as his main source of
material (Cooper 1984). He concluded that change could be
explained only through an awareness of the many
professional, political, educational and cultural interests in
play at any given time. Based on this, he constructed a model
for analyzing changes in school subjects. Textbooks play a
central role as integral parts of a system in which all parts
must be seen in relation to one other. The main function of
the textbook is to lead the student into a paradigm. Here
Cooper builds further on Kuhn's scientific theories. Different
elements of the subject represent different interests and at
any given time some of these will stand in opposition to
others, as will be evident in the textbooks:

  During periods of scientific normalcy, the textbooks may
  vary in degree of difficulty and emphasis, but not in
  substance. During periods of scientific revolution, on the
  other hand, new textbooks are written, based on new
  substance. In contrast, Cooper is of the opinion that
  subgroups with conflicting views are the status quo in the
  subject. He also believes that representatives of the subject
  at university level have little opportunity to influence the
  subject as taught in school. The school subject's teachers
  will pursue their own interests in designing the school
  subject. Many user groups will also be interested in the
  subject as taught in school and in the design of the
  textbooks. One must therefore be aware of the
  simultaneous existence of manifold perspectives and
  interests if one is to shed light on subject-related changes
  in textbooks. (Engelsen 1990, p. 171.)

Cooper's point of view, as well as Apple's, would imply that
publishers wanting to succeed in the market do not venture
into "innovations" without taking care that the books first of
all preserve this status quo of each subject. Critics claiming
that the textbook tradition is one very constant demonstration
of such a compromise, with incorporation as an issue stronger
than that of change (Johnsen 1989), have been able to argue
not least from the material supplied by investigations and
practice of approval systems.

Some countries have no official approval scheme. Although
others have such schemes, the rules and their enforcement
vary. It is difficult to show any pattern in or reason for the
differences. For example, Norway and Finland have such
schemes; Denmark and Sweden do not. In a small country
such as Iceland, and in a totalitarian system such as the
former GDR, where the state produced all the textbooks,
production implies approval. About half the states in the USA
practice some form of approval scheme - but that doesn't
mean the other states exercise no censorship. The same
dichotomy exists in Switzerland. All the German Länder have
approval schemes, but the rules differ significantly. France
has an official approval scheme, but its practice is quite
liberal. Great Britain and the Netherlands have no such
systems, while there are very well-developed approval
 schemes in Austria and Japan.
  The information above covers the countries about which I
was able to find information. A preliminary survey prepared
by the Institute for Textbook Research in Vienna is especially
thorough in its coverage of German-speaking areas
(Bamberger 1992).
  The tendency in recent years has moved toward reduction
or discontinuation. Sweden discontinued approval in 1991.
Finland is considering a new development system to replace
post-production approval. Norway's scheme will either be
discontinued or re-vamped in 1993. Austria is currently
(December 1992) considering various alternatives.)
  Besides the publisher, the senders and receivers in the
textbook process include the authors (in part), (school)
authorities, and teachers/students. There can be no talk of
double roles here as there may be in the case of editors. In
most countries, authorities indirectly disclaim any
responsibility for processing "feedback" because their
approval schemes operate in advance. Teachers and students
are certainly free to send feedback to publishers, although
they rarely take the initiative to do so. When they do,
however, the feedback rarely has anything to do with the
development of textbooks.
  The publisher's role as intermediary is reinforced in a
number of countries in that the publisher also supervises the
contact between the approval authorities and the authors. In
Norway, the editor appoints an adviser, who is in turn
assisted by officially appointed consultants in matters
regarding language, methodology and equal status between
the sexes. In time, editors usually build up a good rapport
with the members of the specialist boards who mediate the
contact. This promotes textbook approval consensus, which
often endures and influences new curricula.
  The most pressing argument in favor of approval schemes
is the need for quality assurance, especially in relation to
school legislation and curricula.
  The oft-heard arguments against approval schemes fall into
two categories: The scheme is viewed as an offshoot of
autocratic/ totalitarian regimes which have outlived
themselves and the scheme works against teacher freedom and
textbook development.
  The most complete survey of the pros and cons connected
with the most common forms of approval may be found in
"NOU 1978: 26: Teaching Materials in Schools and Adult
Education." Many solicited comments are included, and the
committee in charge of the report evaluates each point in
detail. The conclusion begins thus:

  The above cites a number of opinions on the
  investigation, evaluation and potential approval of
  teaching materials. They differ radically as regards what
  is considered to be the goal of such activity and what the
  effects - or side-effects - are or may be. The various
  bodies' evaluations have differed at different times but
  have also differed from each other at the same point in
  time. Many of the opinions solicited have pointed out
  factors that favor a particular solution - without
  drawing conclusions. (NOU 1978: 26, p. 220.)
 The committee's own final conclusion reflects this
uncertainty. A majority of five were in favor of suspending
the scheme; a minority of three wanted a "greatly reformed
textbook approval scheme" (p. 223). The politicians went
with the minority, and in 1984 a new set of textbook approval
rules were enacted. They did not, however, represent any
great reform.
  There is one very comprehensive Norwegian study based
on material of this sort, Bjarne Bjørndal's study of textbook
didactics (Bjørndal 1982). As a part of his study, the author
requested the National Council for Primary and Lower
Secondary Education's permission to review a significant
number of textbook evaluations. Bjørndal and his associates
went through a total of 182 consultant evaluations of
textbooks' educational relevance/didactics since the 1970s.
The subjects dealt with were Norwegian, natural science,
social studies, mathematics and religion. They found the
investigations were mainly, if not entirely, related to subject
matter, not educational theory. On the one hand, they found
a lack of central evaluation criteria, while on the other they
criticized the lack of consistency practiced in connection with
the criteria that were employed. Inconsistency is present
when one main objective (for example, subject content) is
emphasized at the expense of others (for example, didactic
and/or linguistic levels). It is possible to interpret the results
of Bjørndal's study as an expression of an educational policy
position (the "knowledge school" as opposed to the "work
school"). If this is the case, it is most likely due to the fact
that we tend to fractionalize investigations into main elements
such as language, subject matter, equal status between the
sexes and educational theory. This type of fractionalization is
also common in other systems. One critic in the USA is the
renowned readability and textbook researcher Jeanne S. Chall.
She investigated the development of one series of readers
over a period of 35 years (Chall 1977), looking at it in
relation to studies that showed a sinking tendency in the level
of student knowledge acquisition. One of her conclusions was
that although picture counts, readability tests, and other such
measures may yield important data, textbooks have a total
character that cannot be measured by their separate parts
alone. From this point of view, the question is whether, in
cognitive and scientific terms, evaluation systems like
Norway's are not more "atomistic" than "holistic" in their
approach. If so, practice and theory are out of harmony. For
the time being, however, no other studies exist to illuminate
the question.
  Alain Choppin has made a thorough historical study of the
freedom of choice and the approval of French textbooks
(Choppin 1986-87). The authorities sought to centralize
control during two periods; in the century following the
 revolution of 1789 and from 1940 to 1945. Since WW II the
country has kept to a system that was originally established in
1881: Teachers in primary and lower secondary schools are
free to choose books after consulting among themselves, then
their booklists are sent to the county authorities (le
département) for largely pro forma approval. At the upper
secondary level, teachers choose freely after consulting
among themselves. More recent debate in France about the
choice of textbooks revolves around two issues, both of which
only partially pertain to the question of approval. First, who
pays for schoolbooks at the primary and lower secondary
levels? (Up until 1977, the local municipalities paid; since
then the national government has footed the bill.) Second,
what does the term "textbook" actually entail? (The
development of education technology has come a long way in
French cities. More general secondary literature, so-called
"livres parascolaires", is also gaining ground and seems to be
blurring the distinction between traditional textbooks and
other genres - see page 307.)
  There is a considerable amount of American literature
available on the subject of textbook approval, most of it in
the form of articles. The earliest article is probably also the
most lengthy one. It is W.L. Coffey's survey of textbook
approval in the USA as it was organized in 1931 (Coffey

  Every state in the union, as this chapter discloses, has
  passed textbook laws. Several states have placed the control
  of textbooks in the hands of boards with little restriction.
  The majority of the states, however, have placed more or
  less limitation upon the rights of officers who have been
  given authority to determine adoption, sale, and the use of
  textbooks. (P. 249.)

Coffey does not discuss the control scheme as an ideological
instrument, but his survey covers vast fields. Since it is
extremely detailed and since there may be considerable
variation from state to state, Coffey's survey probably offers
the most comprehensive overview available of the different
reasons for and forms of statutory regulations, along with a
look at the vastly different ways of administrating control. It
demonstrates indirectly, for example, differences in approach
(state/region/local government) and the choice of
persons/groups to conduct the investigations which must
clearly spring from different attitudes toward educational
  A survey of this type may serve as the basis for further
study. One example is Tulley and Farr's analysis of the laws
in 22 states (Tulley - Farr 1985). Another is the same authors'
contribution to a special issue of Book Research Quarterly
which deals with textbook approval (1/2 1985). The latter
article discusses the relationship between approval and quality
enhancement. All in all, the authors find a preponderance of
 negative correlations as regards this point, as does another
prominent article published by W. Fox in "The Boston
Globe" that same year. Fox argues that publishers will
neither update nor improve textbooks as long as the existing
textbook approval schemes prevail. In his view, approval
systems act as free insurance.
  Some American studies have investigated how approval
committees work. D.A. Powell grouped the factors
influencing such committees into five categories: the
members' political affiliation, the publishers' commitment,
pilot schemes, the committees' work procedures and the
members' educational orientation (Powell 1985). Building in
part on this study, a group of researchers at the Center for
the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois compiled a
guidebook for members of approval committees on how to
evaluate textbooks (Dole - Rogers - Osborn 1987). It was
tested against controls in four different states. The results
were largely dependent upon the committee's leadership, the
general interest level, the time available and the
supplementary guidance provided.
  A comparable picture of epidemic randomness has been
drawn by J. Dan Marshall, who investigated the approval
system used in Texas (Marshall 1991). As regards the
significance of the constellation of persons involved in the
approval process, he found that "we are rather late in
discovering our professional ignorance of the phenomena
surrounding textbook selection and adoption." (Marshall
1991, p. 74.)
  It will always be possible to some extent to describe the
financial and political framework that dictates textbook
parameters. It is harder to discern the motives of those who
will ultimately be making the decisions. This is difficult not
only at the complex level of the individual teacher, but also
higher up in the system. Government ministries, departments
and sub-committees have developed a number of democratic
mechanisms to promote change as well as to preserve the
status quo, depending for the most part on the level of
commitment among the bureaucrats/bureaucracy involved.
One such mechanism is the delegation of authority, which
often involves long-term processes which may delay
decisions. The mechanisms often demand perseverance and
resources, and may therefore favor those who already are and
have (Langfeldt 1991).
  Another recent U.S. study surveys the current situation and
indicates that things may not have changed much since
Coffey wrote his article in 1931. James R. Squire (Squire
1985) shows that in 1984, 22 US states practiced the adoption
of textbooks on a state-wide basis and that the same states
accounted for nearly 50 % of publisher revenues. It is
remarkable that with the exception of one state, all 22 states
are located in the southwest, southeast and western United
States. Otherwise, "the basic list of adoption states has not
changed over the past two decades, although certain changes
in state practices have occurred" (p.13).
  One of Squire's main points is that non-state control is by
no means equivalent to free choice. He says:

  But if nonadoption, or so-called open territory states,
   account for 52.67% of industry revenue, the procedures for
  screening and selecting do not differ markedly from those
  followed in state adoptions. Most of the large cities in
  "open territory" have established systematic procedures
  for reviewing textbooks on a rotating sequence. (Squire
  1985, p. 13.)

American articles typically deal with the problem of textbook
approval in conjunction with two other factors, i.e., market
and publisher. This is particularly relevant to the theme of
this chapter insofar as markets are ideology-oriented and
publishers are the bearers of ideology. (See pages 271 and
  A retrospective study written in the form often referred to
as a case story is a very special approach. The few existing
examples are all typically polemical. One of them, however,
is particularly remarkable in its scope, thoroughness and
exceptional combination of autobiographical and quasi-
scientific methodology: James Moffett's Storm in the
Mountains: A Case Study of Censorship, Conflict, and
Consciousness (Moffett 1988).
  Moffett wrote the book in response to a controversy that is
considered to have been the most violent and extensive
textbook protest action in the history of the United States. It
took place in Kanawha County, West Virginia, during the
1974-75 school year and it involved English literature
textbooks printed by a number of major publishing houses.
In his book Censors in the Classroom Edward B. Jenkinson
describes the same controversy, as well as other censorship
attempts east and west of the Mississippi (Jenkinson 1979).)
Moffett edited a series called Interaction, which was severely
criticized. More than 10 years later, he wrote an account of
what actually happened, partly in an effort to give his own
version (which he emphasizes) and partly "to explain how
this case may illuminate phenomena bigger today than then"
(Preface, p.x). His account covers interviews with the leaders
of the protest action as well as an analysis of the objections
to the literary texts. This he based in the main on a 500-page
report from the Board of Education, that is, the board of
approval where the controversy was played out. In addition,
the author attempts to give a socio-psychological
interpretation of the causes underlying the protest action. An
outside reader might describe the anthology as "open" and
"liberal" and the protesters as fundamentalist fanatics when
it came to certain issues like religion and sex.
  The book was reviewed in an issue of The American
Journal of Education. The reviewer, George Hillocks Jr.,
played a key role in the investigations that followed in the
wake of the controversy, which involved personal conflict,
defamation and so on. He points out that Moffett had not
interviewed the main leader, had not availed himself of the
taped records of the meetings, and had made no attempt to
investigate "the protesters' objections, which might have
allowed an understanding of the religious and philosophical
assumptions underlying them" (Hillocks 1991, p. 269). For
Hillocks, the case was more a disclosure of deep conflicts in
the United States between fundamentalist Christian ideology
 and what he calls "secular humanism", than a story of some
intolerant parents' need to curb progressive innovators.
  The story of Storm in the Mountains is a new and perhaps
prophetic version of the conflicts related to history book
revision. The case could also have been discussed in the
chapter on ideological studies, but is incorporated here
because it relates to the philosophy of textbook development.
The point of departure was to some extent paradoxical.
Interaction was a particularly ambitious literary project for
the Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company. It included tapes,
films, games, activity cards and anthologies. Moffett, known
in the United States and Scandinavia as a pioneer in the field
of process-oriented composition training, was an early critic
of mother tongue textbooks (Moffett 1968). When he accepted
the job of editing Interaction, it was partly because it enabled
him to meet the enemy on its own territory. The series was
intended to liberate students from textbook material by
offering so much information that anyone could orient
himself "in a rich variety of materials not produced
especially for schools" (Moffett 1988, p. 214). In short, one
might say that he wished to realize the idea of the
individualized multi-media approach in a single series for a
single school subject. In this sense this was, in financial
terms, a bold idea even for the affluent society from which
it originated. Its objectives and solutions may thus be
perceived as a rare example of textbook development as a
research project per se. When the series was launched, the
president of the Houghton Mifflin Company announced that
the series was "the largest program of school materials ever
done till then" (p. 4). Little insight was gained into the series'
potential or effects because the protest action against it was
so effective. Nonetheless, this literary series (Interaction) and
its biography (Storm in the Mountains), separately and
perhaps especially together, comprise something so unique as
an attempt to capture the pulse of a particular time and
climate based on the "textbook world." The commercial
results and/or interpretational controversies (Hillock versus
Moffett) do not prevent this story from providing an
important perspective on methodology. In particular, it raises
the issue of whether it is possible to find methodologies that
can relate research studies of an ideological nature, for
example, more closely to a realistic user situation while the
books are being developed and launched.

Approval and the Textbook Concept
The example of les parascolaires (see page 307) shows how
school policy can affect publishers' operations - in intended
and unintended ways - and, similarly, how publishers'
solutions may come to influence teaching. If this influence
acts in the "wrong" direction, school authorities can
intervene by effecting new measures. Yet certain
requirements must be met if those measures are to be
effective. The most important ones are related to the textbook
concept and the explicit or implicit definitions which, for
example, exempt books from/commit them to an approval
 scheme or do/do not require the purchase of a full class set.
  It cannot be said that the textbook concept has been subject
to any official re-assessment or upgrading consonant with
media development in western countries, although the need
for this is apparent in a number of contexts. In his report on
Norwegian written culture in an educational perspective,
Eiliv Vinje calls for a revision of the textbook concept:

  The school system has undergone a development that
  provides ample opportunity for examining the traditional
  textbook concept. But this is where we find a paradox that
  is a little disturbing and a little discomforting. In light of
  the development outlined above, it is amazing to see how
  constant the textbook concept has remained. It hasn't
  changed since the war, despite the rapid development of
  the school. (Vinje 1990, p. 216.)

Kåre Skadberg has explained how the Norwegian Language
Council works when it examines the language used in
textbooks (Skadberg 1987). The quotation below reveals the
uncertainty that prevails about the concept. It also indirectly
reveals the randomness caused by the lack of clarity:

  Supplementary and complementary books of various types
  have flooded the market. Workbooks, theme booklets,
  reference books, exercise books and AV aids have thus
  gained a far more dominant role in the classroom situation.
  It is now actually possible for teachers to teach without
  using one main (my emphasis) textbook in a subject.
    It hasn't been considered feasible or desirable to
  establish a public approval scheme that would cover all
  published and unpublished teaching material, like the
  Language Council has advocated. It has been decided to
  limit the approval scheme to the (most) important
  textbooks. (Skadberg 1987, p. 131; my emphasis.)

Skadberg also points out that the growing quantity of exercise
books and supplements must of necessity lead the council -
not least due to capacity problems - to exclude from scrutiny
the manuscripts for pamphlets produced in large print runs.
Consequently, publishing houses send few such manuscripts
to the council for approval. This "incompleteness" is also a
sign of inconsistency, at least if one presumes that the texts
in the exercise books and the other supplements convey
knowledge and influence pupils in somewhat the same way as
the texts in approved textbooks. We don't know much about
this last aspect, as little research has been done on methods of
use or the time spent on supplementary literature.
  At first glance, it seems obvious that the significance of
this would differ from subject to subject (Pöggeler 1985). In
a comprehensive study of supplements and workbooks in
several subjects, Jean Osborn and Karen Decker nonetheless
ask whether there isn't a "workbook genre" across traditional
subject boundaries (Osborn - Decker 1990). Studies like this,
which target workbooks as an independent type of textbook,
 can be counted on one hand. Perhaps the most comprehensive
of them is from Austria. Marina Moosbrugger studied the
exercises in textbooks at 1st and 3rd grade levels. She
demonstrated first of all that the number of exercises has
increased so rapidly that many "textbooks" now bear a
strong resemblance to "exercise books". Second, she found
a clear pattern in the relationship between curricula and
exercises. The correspondence was poor at several levels,
especially as regards degree of difficulty. Moosbrugger drew
a conclusion from this, upon which she has based a
development program:

  The discrepancy between curricular requirements and their
  fulfillment, e.g., their manifestation in the form of
  textbooks, leads one to assume that the criteria used to
  check the correlation between curricula and textbooks took
  little, if any, account of the exercises. It would therefore
  be worthwhile to apply criteria that also took the exercises
  into account before approving the books. When designing
  new textbooks, it is possible to avoid the problems due to
  entrenchment in traditions by using an interdisciplinary
  forum consisting of representatives from research,
  didactics, educational science and the school. (Moosbrugger
  1985, p. 127.)

There is a distinct disparity between researchers' interest in
basal texts on the one hand, and supplementary literature on
the other, viewed in light of the role distribution between the
two types of books in the classroom. In Norwegian primary
and lower secondary schools, arithmetic exercise books
functioned as basal texts far into the latter half of this
century. A stir was created in 1959 when Helga Stene
presented an analysis of sex-role patterns in an exercise book
in arithmetic. The book contained 540 exercises, of which
almost 200 involved persons of a particular sex. Of those 200,
only four involved female protagonists. (Stene 1981.)
Theoretically, an approval committee responsible for equality
between the sexes need not intervene in this case on purely
formal grounds, because the book was an exercise book. In
other words, the system is vulnerable in a real as well as in a
formal sense. If we assume that books of the "parascolaires"
type will gain general, universal acceptance, the authorities
in the different countries would find it difficult to intervene
rapidly - even if they wanted to. First, the use of approved
textbooks is not mandatory. Second, the right to copy and
reproduce texts is in the process of being sanctioned by law
in most countries. And third, there are a number of countries
that don't have national approval schemes. In practice, in the
near future, market development will therefore probably be
equally contingent on two other conditions, i.e., the needs and
wishes of those who select the books, and municipal and state
  Goldstein 1978, Neumann 1989, Huot 1989, Apple 1990,
and Apple - Christian Smith 1991 are among the few
 individual authors who have tried to present more holistic
analyses of the political aspects of textbook production and
the market. Like NSSE's collection of articles on the same
topic (NSSE 1990), they all express the view that publishers'
practices and policies from the 1970s and 1980s did not serve
the objectives for educational innovation which were
concurrently incorporated into curricula and implemented
inter alia through changes in teacher education and school
structure. (Goldstein proposes government subsidization of
publishing houses' development work.)
  One potential field of study might be the posing of
questions that would confirm or reject such a view. With
regard to major publishing houses with extensive programs:
What percentage of the profits from the textbook section is
spent on other departments" What percentage of the profits
goes to polishing and revising existing series, and what
percentage is spent on the development of major new series"
How much of the innovation budget is spent on the writing
of single, independent books, and how much goes to series or
packages aimed at several grades/levels/subjects/functions?
  We can only conjecture about the degree to which the
answers to such questions directly stimulate publishers'
willingness or ability to modernize. Perhaps we need
approaches that - regardless of publisher policy - place the
industry within a perspective that also sheds light on
conditions they themselves can neither keep track of nor

Curricula and Teaching
Publishing houses play a more modest role in respect of
curricula and teaching. Generally speaking, curricular
planning committees have been dominated by practicing
teachers. The research community has rarely been represented
on these committees in Norway, for instance. As mentioned
earlier, frequent contact with the expert councils probably
allows publishers some opportunity for influencing the
approval process, but they have no influence on the
development and revision of curricula. Several countries have
rules, implicit or explicit, stating that neither publishing
houses nor authors may serve as members of curricular
planning committees. However, these rules may vary
somewhat in practice. Over the past decade there have been
marginal attempts at drawing publishers into curricular
planning. Such cooperation has been established at the
national level in the Netherlands, and a similar scheme is now
(1992) being considered by a committee appointed by
Norway's National Council for Upper Secondary Education.
Such initiatives may be motivated by politics or finances; in
Norway the measure is attributable inter alia to the need for
textbooks in many new subjects that attract few students.
  It was not until the 1970s that an extended definition of
education saw a breakthrough in curricula for primary, lower
and upper secondary schools in the Nordic countries.
According to the extended definition, teaching and learning
were also to encompass attitudes and skills. The atomistic
view of knowledge, whereby subjects were fractionalized into
sub-topics and pupils were encouraged to regurgitate
memorized fractions on command, has been replaced by a
 holistic view which emphasizes the ability to grasp
relationships. Process training has been elevated to the same
level as knowledge; it has become important to observe,
classify, measure, collect, experiment, analyze, interpret and
evaluate. This view is underpinned by an educational,
democratic and theoretical school of thought whereby it is
just as important to find an approach to a subject that
captures the imagination and promotes understanding, as it is
to review all the disciplines in the same subject. Accordingly,
the interpretation of the general, overall curricular guidelines
has to play a key part in educational planning and book
  The first research done in the field of teaching guides -
textbooks in the Nordic countries was reported in Sweden in
the latter half of the 1970s. Among the most important of
these investigations were Ulf P. Lundgren's studies in
curricular theory (Lundgren 1977, 1989). Like several of his
colleagues (Svingby 1985, Englund 1986), Lundgren made a
systematic study of curricula as one aspect of a highly
complex teaching system. He believed that analyses of
educational processes had somehow to be tied to:

  a general theory of education and its function in society.
  The final point is most essential. The internal functions
  and effects of education cannot be explained without
  relating them to a basic theory of education and society.
  This theory must, then, be built on an explanatory model
  which specifies the determinants of the teaching process.
  (Lundgren 1977, p. 31.)

The question is who should decide what the curricula should
include and, not necessarily dependent on that, what pupils
will ultimately learn. The answer depends on factors other
than legislation and curricula. Does curricular content really
exert any significant degree of influence on the pupils,
compared with what American researchers have chosen to call
"the hidden curriculum" -that is, the entire social context
surrounding the teaching of a subject (Giroux - Penna 1978)"
  To analyze the "whole", Gunilla Svingby developed a
model which takes historical, social, national and local
conditions into account (Svingby 1978, p. 51). It is obvious
that the curriculum-textbook relationship is just one of many
interactions in this context, and that publishing houses cannot
automatically be assumed to wield a great deal of influence,
even though many textbooks are sold and used. The point at
issue is still whether or not this connection, which actually
grows "looser" in a system based on teaching guides, may
enhance the influence of publishers and textbooks. All
available investigations from the 1980s indicate that teachers
largely follow the teaching plans incorporated into the
textbooks. It does not appear, however, that the innovative
thoughts embodied in the new curricula have led to any
immediate renunciation of textbooks. On the contrary, it
looks as though textbooks have reinforced their position in
step with the decline of regular syllabi records. A shift in
 focus from book/publisher curricula interpretation to
teacher/pupil interpretation will probably call for long-term
changes in teacher education as well (see Ball - Feiman-
Nemser 1988, p. 73), unless, hypothetically, such change
could be brought about by means of the textbooks themselves.
  This issue must be viewed in connection with still another.
Political considerations play a part in the appointment of
regulatory committees. This implies that traditional
statements of objectives - especially in new times with an
expanded definition of education - will reflect some of the
important ideological contradictions seen in society. Their
character of compromise makes interpretation more difficult.
Gunilla Svingby points this out in one of her works:

  The officially stated objectives do not express
  unambiguous, consistent intentions, but are full of
  contradictions themselves, (...) which makes it possible to
  explain the objectives in terms of interpretations that lead
  back to one ideology or another. (...) In this way, conflicts
  and contradictions will be hidden at the official level, and
  the resolution of the problems (which are in reality
  ideological contradictions) will be left to practice, where
  the prevailing tradition in the system will have ample
  opport-unity to interpret and adapt the objective in a way
  which con-serves it. (Svingby 1977; here quoted from
  Englund 1982, p. 42.)

Svingby's results were confirmed and to some extent
supplemented by Britt Ulstrup Engelsen in a subsequent
investigation concerning the relationship between curricula
and the teaching of literature at the lower secondary level
(Engelsen 1988). Engelsen compared the treatment of subject
matter in debates and in the curricula. She found that
noticeable changes occurred every time a view from a debate
on literary philosophy was incorporated into curricular
documents. To some extent, however, major new topics were
toned down and re-interpreted to make them less
controversial and to some extent they were slotted into
different contexts. Still, there was a pattern: All the different
views were incorporated into the curricula. This was
accomplished by incorporating controversial points into
statements of compromise that could certainly give the
appearance of agreement, but which were open to different
interpretations. Engelsen's observation supports those of
Michael W. Apple and Allan Luke.
  Insofar as such an observation is valid for other subjects
and levels, it would add to the importance assigned to the
publishers' role as interpreter. At the same time, it would
diminish the control exerted by curricula, coinciding with the
views derived from theoretical curricular research in the
course of the past decade (Engelsen 1990, p. 64).
  This brings us to yet another salient point: The extent to
which a publisher evaluates the curricula in light of the so-
called hidden curriculum - the big new classes, the mobility
inherent in society and school structure, the shifting trends in
 leisure time and homework, and the competition from
economic pressures exerted by the youth culture outside the
school. Viewed in this way, there can be no doubt that the
hidden curriculum is also included in the curricula, which
attach importance inter alia to individual and local
differentiation. To what extent do publishers find it
expedient to reveal and exploit this part of the curriculum
and of a (formerly more or less rather hidden) tradition? The
same question may be posed in an historical perspective based
on the results of several investigations which show that some
works published by a single publisher and a single author
have undergone nothing but volume-related changes during
a decade of changing curricula and school structures
(Damerow 1980, Woodward 1987).
  The questions posed above deal primarily with the
development of textbooks. As of today, we lack investigations
that could build bridges to the considerably larger body of
knowledge we have about textbooks in use. However, it is
very important to note that the publishing houses are, of
necessity, the principal players in this process. The textbook
industry and its products are inextricably linked to school
structure and traditions.
  Although there is a lack of research, there is a wealth of
polemical literature on publishers and textbooks. This is
particularly true in the USA, where the market potential is
tremendous, provided, that is, that the publishers manage to
coordinate state and regional requirements concerning the
continued strong need for a national superstructure (Westbury
1990, p. 8). In principle, the same situation applies to a
number of other western countries as well, albeit on a smaller
scale. In this type of literature it is possible to distinguish
between three common, somewhat conflicting, basic attitudes
toward the role of publishing houses. All are represented in
NSSE's 89th Yearbook (NSSE 1990), and will be summarized
briefly here.
  Ian Westbury, a professor of curriculum studies, criticizes
the US publishing industry when he calls it "a faithful
reflection of the system, i.e., the market that it serves and the
larger contents in which it works." (Westbury 1990, p. 18.)
The system contains built-in obstacles that impede
development, including a "legal framework" (approval
schemes, etc.), research funding problems, publishers'
development procedures, servility to the market, constraints
and apathy from the school's decision-making bodies, and a
lack of contact between research and insight on the one hand,
and practice on the other. The books are not good enough
because the system is not good enough:

  To charge one part of the system with lacking something
  that the system as a whole lacks is an unwarranted
  projection of the problems of the whole onto that part. (P.
  19; my emphasis.)

In the same book, publishers James Squire and Richard
Morgan give an account of what they call standard procedure
in the publishing houses' development of textbooks (Squire -
 Morgan 1990). The requirements include "a basic rationale
prepared in advance" (p. 115). It contains a detailed plan of
both "the philosophy of the instructional design" and "key
instructional features". Such project descriptions are usually
produced through the collaborative efforts of "senior
authors" and "senior editors". Together, they hire
"professional and scholarly leaders on projects of this kind
and just as regularly listen to their advice." (P. 115.) Squire
and Morgan also appear to testify to the existence of the link
between theory and practice that Westbury was looking for:
"But always the successful publisher checks the advice
secured from academicians against the attitudes of school
practitioners." (P. 115.)
  Jean Young, an experienced teacher and editor, has written
a description (Young 1990) of the publishing houses' situation
which may capture the most salient features of the
descriptions by Westbury and Squire/Morgan:

  (...) I can understand the constraints under which
  publishers operate. Particularly, it seems that publishers
  have to sit on a fence between being too innovative and not
  being innovative enough. To the extent they are convinced
  that an innovation will be accepted by teachers, they will
  be purveyors of educational innovations. (P. 83.)

The last quotations serve to remind us that teachers' selection
criteria and use of textbooks in practice - or at least
assumptions about these practices - have, in a manner of
speaking, a retroactive effect on some of the development
processes in the publishing houses.

The section on curricula and teaching points out how people,
institutions and traditions work together and how they work
against one another. In the preceding section, these factors
were grouped into publishers, authorities, curricula and
teaching. The role of the publisher clearly dominates the
literature. The publishing house is where all the threads are
drawn together. Opinions about the major part played by the
publisher are often initially negative, possibly due to
scholarly skepticism of commercial development.
Notwithstanding, we recognize the same principal problem
here as in the literature on the role of the textbook author
and the role of the teacher: Who controls textbook
development? State and local governing boards, schools,
authors and publishing houses are all sources of material for
shedding light on this issue. Yet it is unlikely that any
country has routines for saving or systematizing such
material, any more than they have traditions of performing
routine scientific analyses of it. It would be difficult to use
the material, formally or otherwise. This may be connected to
"closed" approval procedures, no public access to the
statements of consultants, conflicts of principle that indicate
personal conflicts, the innate nature of competition between
 publishing houses and business secrets. The USA has
encouraged the production of a wide range of polemical
articles on these topics. On the other hand, there are very few
textbook-based studies that relate school content to factors
such as curricula/authorities/publishers. In terms of
traditional educational research, curricular analyses and
studies of the school system's organization are comprehensive
undertakings, frequently entailing methodological, structural
and political assessments. In that context, the subject matter
and the way in which it is presented in the textbooks, seem
to be of little interest.
  The phenomenon of approval is very special. Depending on
its form and function, an approval system may provide texts
with direction, either political or propaganda-related. If such
an approval system comprises many elements (as in Norway:
language, subject matter, equal status, methodology), is
centralized and has long, stable traditions in a country, it
could potentially result in absolute educational-ideological
concepts which might delay or prevent the transfer of new
objectives from new curricula to new textbooks. A kind of
consensus might arise concerning textbook customs and use,
a meta-ideology which steers all decisions in one particular
direction and becomes a system within or superordinate to the
main system rather than an integral part of it (Johnsen 1989).
However, there has been far more criticism of the way in
which approval schemes are practiced than of their existence
as such.
  Anyone wishing to explore the relationship between law,
politics and pedagogics within a state control system will have
to distinguish between "after" and "before"; between the
main part of the work that involves how investigators reach
the decision "approved" or "rejected" on the one hand, and
the main part of the work that authors and publishers
perform to satisfy the requirements of the system on the
other. During the 1980s there was a shift in public approval
work in Sweden. Researchers began to investigate the books
in existence and their use in order to gain new insight that
might improve the quality of subsequent books. This sort of
investigation would be "prophylactic", i.e., it would be
development. (In 1991, however, the approval system was
abolished in Sweden; see page 273.) There is a certain hidden
logic behind this. In all countries with approval schemes, the
justification - at least officially - has been the desire to
improve quality. In countries with less ambitious or no
traditions of textbook research, the milieu surrounding the
approval scheme has probably been the only place other than
in the publishing houses where textbooks have been
systematically discussed and evaluated. Formally speaking,
the scheme is the only official guarantee that any account is
taken of recent research and new educational ideas.
Consequently, the secretariats of the expert councils and their
consultants are in a peculiar way the only forum for
"textbook research".
  The lack of research may also be related to the problem of
 methods. It may appear as though text analysis traditions
derived from the revision of history books have not only been
applied to other areas uncritically, but that they have formed
such a strong school of thought that the initiative disappears
as soon as one moves outside the book pages and on to a
process such as writing or manuscript revision. Yet this
explanation is not completely acceptable. Some research tasks
stand out, as they could be performed within the parameters
of the book. One example might be to perform comparative
analyses of books in countries with and without approval
schemes, another to compare books produced in totalitarian
countries by government publishing houses with books
produced through free market forces by various publishers in
the west. One might also examine the contents of the books
and venture explanations concerning the spiritual and
political climate that may have determined their content
(Jacobmeyer 1986). Notwithstanding, it should be self-
evident that a text does not provide sufficient grounds for
gauging how those who interpret, define and transfer
knowledge and values through educational texts think, govern
and are governed. Categories such as editorial work,
comments from consultants or the composition of curricular
committees cannot be measured in a text in itself. They are
part of the processes which, due to a lack of traditions such
as observation, filing or registering, can only be examined on
an ongoing basis - if circumstances permit. (Investigations of
how texts in the same book have changed over time are in the
gray zone; see Cooper 1984 and Young 1990, page 272 and
page 250.)
  Perhaps the problem is the categorization itself. The
division into publishers, school systems, and teaching used in
this survey is by no means arbitrary; it coincides with the way
in which the material is organized in the literature on the
topic (see, for example, Woodward - Elliott 1990). The
divisions are so broad that one might ask whether researchers
have been scared away by the sheer bulk of material: The
slim chances of reaching a definite, reliable result actually
make this material more suitable for essays as well. The
dilemma is reflected in the procedure followed in the few
studies that have tried to capture the whole (Bjørndal 1982,
Apple 1984, Woodward 1987, Cody 1990, Haavelsrud 1991).
  No one has conducted a research-based, combined book
and system analysis which might shed light on the totality of
the textbook development process. But is it at all possible to
capture the totality by applying limited, inexpensive
approaches? For practical reasons, the answer must be no if
one wants to do this as a post-publication process. On the
other hand, it should be possible to keep a diary of the entire
process, given that one could coordinate the work among all
the implicated groups.
  There is one example of an experiment that goes quite far
in that direction, i.e., the development of the Atlantic
Curriculum Project of several editions of Science Plus, a
textbook series for science teaching in the lower secondary
grades. Charles P. McFadden reported on the development of
the program because "the struggle which the authors waged
 to maintain editorial control and the problematic relationships
that emerged between curriculum design and materials
development are probably very instructive about what
happens in more typical cases." (McFadden 1992, p. 71.) The
author presents a number of recommendations to sum up his
experience. Two of them clearly point toward the principles
of contemporaneousness and coordination mentioned in the
chapter of this book entitled Conclusion:

  Curriculum development projects should include a suitably
  lengthy informal stage, one without time-limited contracts
  and obligations to produce curriculum plans and materials.
  This stage should be used for formative evaluation,
  professional development, experimental curriculum design,
  and supportive materials development, including classroom
    Curriculum design and curriculum materials
  development are mutual tasks that should be united in
  curriculum development projects; both the design and the
  materials should be tested together. This presupposes a
  curriculum decision-making process that is supportive of
  such a procedure. This process might take the form of
  either limiting the decision making to the selection of such
  curricula or establishing a collaboration between the
  curriculum decision makers and the curriculum materials
  developers. (McFadden 1992, pp. 83-84.)

In a discussion of theory, Gerd Stein writes about how certain
parameters contribute to making the textbook into a political
medium (Stein 1977). One of these parameters is an approval
system (the other three are revision, distribution/access and
market), although approval is not the parameter that draws
the most attention. This is probably because textbook analyses
are usually pedagogically motivated. Any analyses of approval
practices, on the other hand, will have political implications
right from the start. As a field of research, this topic will be
more suspect than "non-political" educational aspects, for
example. As far as the question of approval as an expression
of ideology is concerned, many critical questions still await
clarification: How can one justify approval from an
ideological and/or school policy perspective? How feasible is
the idea of a public investigation which is intended to ensure
objectivity in schoolbooks seen in the light of recent
cognitive and scientific theory? Do any general, implicit
censorship bodies operate outside established approval
systems? If so, do they exist in countries both with and
without approval systems?

Production and the Market

In the preceding section, the word "production" was chiefly
used in the sense of text production. In this section,
"production" will refer to work the publishers do to set,
print and publish a book. The process is comprehensive and
involves factors such as format, number of pages, binding,
paper quality, (number of) colors, layout, choice of raw
materials and printer, time frame - and the market. In this
context, the term "market" refers to those who select and
purchase textbooks; primarily teachers, schools and
pupils/parents in primary and lower and upper secondary
  There are analyses that try to place the entire process in
context, but they are generally quite old (with the exception
of Huot 1989 and Choppin 1992; see page 307 and page 150).
The main one is Wilbur Schramm's "The Publishing Process"
(Schramm 1955), which discusses finances, technical
production and competition, and evaluates the interaction
between publishers, authors and marketing departments.
Schramm uncovered patterns which some claim will still

  Text materials, like any other mass communication, must
  abide by the laws of copyright, libel, decency, and
  sedition. Beyond that, restrictions imposed upon the
  content of the text are largely the product of informal
  pressures operating through the freedom of the consumer
  to reject what he does not like or through the pressures of
  special-interest groups on consumers and producers. (P.

Scramm's work was supplemented by a somewhat later
contribution: M. Brammer's article "Textbook Publishing"
(Brammer 1967). The author studied the connection between
the writing, appearance and purchase of textbooks and
claimed that publishers' editors and publishers are the real
authors of textbooks.
  With these exceptions, the literature on production and the
market deals with parts of the field. The links in the process
may be examined from historical, technical, financial,
political or consumer-related perspectives. This survey
arranges the material into four approaches whose boundaries
are somewhat fluid: Historical, technical-financial, political
and consumer-related.

Historical Approach
From this perspective, the history of textbooks is the history
 of publishing. In non-authoritarian countries, this will
involve the history of publishing houses that have published
other books and those that are exclusively textbook
publishers. It will also involve the history of large publishing
houses. A few publishers account for the majority of
publications. In a draft of a work on French publishing
history, Alain Choppin (Choppin 1990) uses textbooks in the
subject of Greek to illustrate this point. From 1789 to 1986,
1004 titles were published by a total of 227 publishers.
However, 120 of the houses published just one title and more
than half the titles were actually published by just six houses.
Choppin has arrived at comparable figures for textbooks in
Latin and Italian. These figures would probably hold true for
other subjects as well, and it is likely that the same patterns
would be found in other countries.
  Thus the question is whether and/or how textbook history
figures in official publishing house histories. Most large
publishing houses that have existed for more than 50 years
have probably published commemorative books. Such
company histories are beyond the scope of the present survey,
but examples from a country where such material is available,
i.e., Norway, point to trends in the historical development
which may shed light on the problems of today.
  The four largest publishing houses in Norway are
Aschehoug, Cappelen, Gyldendal and the Scandinawian
University Press. The first celebrated its 100th anniversary in
1972, the second its 150th anniversary in 1979. University
librarian Harald L. Tveterås was commissioned to write the
commemorative histories of both publishing houses (Tveterås
1972, 1979). The subject of textbooks take up 10 of 383 pages
in the history of Aschehoug and 85 of 477 pages in the
history of Cappelen. There is no apparent reason for the
under-representation or for the substantial difference
between the two publishing houses (Johnsen 1989). The
difference must be interpreted as an expression of modest,
but varying degrees of historical awareness about the
textbook publishing activities of the individual publishing
  In two contexts Tveterås shows what close ties there can be
between the authorities and publishing houses in a small
country which is totally dominated by a public school system.
The very foundation of some publishers' existence is ensured
by their contracts to publish public documents such as
statutes and curricula. At the same time, reforms within the
school system have had a major impact on the production of

  In many countries school reforms intervene less in an
  individual's freedom of choice because society possesses
  the breadth and strength to accept a variety of educational
  solutions. In a country such as ours, a controversial school
  reform will have far more significant consequences because
  there will be no alternatives. There are few private schools
  and, although those schools may be partially funded by
   state and local government subsidies, many people will see
  them as isolated minimum variants compared with the
  powerful, monochromatic public school system. (Tveterås
  1979, p. 166.)

If we were to replace "private schools" with small publishing
houses and "public school system" with 2-3 major publishing
houses, we have drawn a picture of something which, at least
up until the 1980s, was virtually a monopoly situation in
Norwegian textbook production.
  No one has ever investigated what guarantee small,
manageable conditions and a democratic form of government
actually provide for competition and variation. At the
national level, this issue is high on the current agenda of
many small countries because their major publishing houses
are being controlled by fewer owners. In Norway, for
example, three of the above-mentioned publishing houses are
part of the same Norwegian ownership consortium; while the
fourth is part of a Swedish-owned system. The issue also
gains significance in light of the growing internationalization
seen in the development of teaching materials for the Third
World (see page 303).
  In volume IV of Histoire de l'Edition Française, Alain
Choppin has compiled a survey of the publication history of
French textbooks (Choppin 1986-87). Choppin distinguishes
between three main development stages. From the 1880s,
when books were first required in primary and lower
secondary schools, until the 1920s, textbook production was
largely analogous with the production of ordinary non-fiction
  The 1930s saw the advent of "La révolution des manuels".
Publishers accepted the challenge posed by illustrated
magazines and journals, mainly by increasing the number of
illustrations used in textbooks. Moreover, the illustrations
were to be produced by well-known artists. This trend
continued for several decades. It was, however, determined
more by external competitive factors than by school reforms.
  The real revolution took place in the 1960s. New
educational ideas were incorporated into school reforms
which, in conjunction with technical innovations and
increasing affluence, set luxurious new standards for
textbooks. This in turn entailed shared responsibility for
production; we see the development of teamwork, where
"création" and "fabrication" blend together. All the
technical niceties and extra-textual enhancements were
designed to present the material to pupils in a way that
conformed to curricular objectives concerning independent
activities and understanding. Yet these efforts did not
correspond to one market requirement: "(...) the teachers who
choose the books can hardly assess their quality without using
them. Thus external criteria ("critères externes") such as
typography and illustrations are most determinative for their
selection." (P. 302.) During the early half of the century,
teachers had to distinguish between and select books mainly
on the basis of text; later it became possible to select them
more on the basis of appearance, quite independent of text.

Technical - Financial Approach
Estimates of production costs and lists of editions,
impressions and textbook sales are, in principle, public
information in European countries and US states. A review of
such material might reveal how much emphasis each
publishing house has assigned to each subject at each level in
the various steps of the process, measured in terms of money.
In a broad, general historical perspective, such investigations
might tell us something about the development of what might
be called the written culture of the school. Detailed
comparisons of two publications on the same subject,
published by different publishers, would furnish information
for the debate on (or lack of debate on) variation and
diversity in the total stock of textbooks.
  It is difficult to find examples of any such comparisons
performed outside the industry. Internal comparisons are, for
good reason, hard to obtain. In Norway there are general
publishing industry surveys and deficiency reports conducted
in the 1980s by publishing houses and/or by the government,
which indicate textbook consumption and document financial
needs (Report No. 23 1982-1983 to the Storting; Deficiency
Committee's Report 1985; Egeland 1986). Such surveys exist
in other countries as well; one of the more exhaustive is the
Swedish market survey undertaken in 1987-1988 (Ds 1988:
22/23; see page 384).
  It has proven very difficult to interpret such documents in
a way that might lead to a plan of action on which political
consensus could be reached. One important reason for this is
that no one really has a full overview of all the possibilities
offered by information technology. It is especially important
to note that a decentralized school system, combined with
different levels of financial resources at the municipal and
county levels, could reinforce the very differences that
regulations and curricula are trying to eliminate:

  If we look at school Norway as a whole, there is a danger
  that we might, at the end of the 1980s, see growing
  differences in educational opportunities from class to class
  and school to school, with regard to computer technology.
  This refers not to computer courses or the like, but to the
  use of computer technology in general, in accordance with
  the curricula. The curricula are the same for everyone, but
  there the similarity ends. (Røsvik 1990, p. 20.)

In this respect, the stage is set for a revolution not only in the
school system, where one might conceive of each
teacher/pupil as a producer of teaching material,
supplemented by the school library, but also on the
production end: How should the publishing houses react"
Neither they nor the school can rely on studies of a trend in
progress. Yet there is no shortage of opinions. A narrow
national and broad international contribution may also help
put the situation in perspective:
  In 1988 two post-graduate students at the Norwegian
College of Advanced Technology in Trondheim published a
 thesis on the textbook business (Tiller - Nordahl 1988). They
contended that Norwegian publishing houses were not up to
date with their technology and that they could benefit
substantially from upgrading their production systems. Their
proposals for technical solutions were motivated by a general
decline in appropriations for teaching materials: "Maybe the
best textbook should have everything; a wealth of visual aids
and good, comprehensible text. But in our opinion, schools
have been placed in a no-win situation, where they have to
decide between books with expensive extra-textual
enhancements and thereby few books, or good enough books,
but enough of them." (P. 130-131.) They describe the
"textbook of tomorrow" as being in black and white, with
simple straight-glued joints, A4 format, 100 - 250 pages long,
with the simplest possible lay-out.
  This view is no less interesting when compared with
different countries' actual expenditures on teaching materials,
mainly books, per pupil in primary and lower secondary
schools. Stephen Paul Heyneman of the World Bank has
prepared a comparison of annual expenditures in a number of
countries, measured in dollars. In 1984, Bolivia spent USD
0.80 per pupil, Spain approximately USD 40, Hungary
approximately USD 90, the USA and Japan approximately
USD 250 and the Scandinavian countries USD 300 or more.
  The results of this study were recapitulated in a seminar
report from the World Bank: Textbooks in the Developing
World (Farrell -Heyneman 1989). The same publication
contains a contribution from three representatives of
EDUCONSULT, a development center in Geneva (Fernig -
McDougal - Ohlman 1989). They place the possibilities of
information technology in a global perspective, based on the
following problem/title: "Will Textbooks be Replaced by
New Information Technologies"" The authors introduce their
article with what western countries might perceive as a rather
derogatory comparison that places textbooks in a broad
economic context:

  To put the matter baldly, two main problems occur with
  textbooks: either they are available and teachers rely too
  much on them - teachers teach the textbooks despite
  training to the contrary - or as often happens in developing
  countries, textbooks are in too short supply to be of much
  value. (P. 197.)

The authors give no definite answer to the question of how
the educational gap can be closed or to whether new
technology will serve such a trend. On the other hand, they
point out that education needs a "fuller exchange of
information", combined with "results of research,
evaluations of existing software and courseware, and
specification for their development." (P. 205.)
  One factor that is often ignored when discussing textbook
use, as opposed to technical development and the media
revolution in the school, is that for nearly a generation
textbooks themselves have embodied results and examples of
advanced technology. Tiller and Nordahl assert that in the
1980s, the textbook publication costs of ordinary Norwegian
 publishing houses frequently accounted for as much as 40 per
cent of the book shop price ("Total publishing costs comprise
the costs of technical production, the manuscript and binding
or stitching/stapling costs of the entire impression." (P. 66.)).
Richaudeau's introduction to the topic (Richaudeau 1986)
indicates that the process is expensive. While there are clear
indications that extra-textual enhancements such as colors
and illustrations make users anticipate educational
advantages, to date no studies have been made of the
correspondence between extra-textual enhancements and
degree of learning.
  Stephen Paul Heyneman believes that the issue of textbooks
versus other teaching media should be superseded by another
question. In a global perspective, it will be more important to
ask where each country can get its books produced cheapest.
Electronics and technology have opened up possibilities for
joint productions across national borders and for
specialization in a global/local perspective, that is, the
production of so-called local teaching material need not
depend on owning production equipment: "Many small
nations (Sierra Leone is an example) have successfully
combined local development and production of general
primary texts with adaption of foreign texts for more
specialized subjects with small readerships at higher schooling
levels." (Heyneman 1989, p. 9.)
  In the sporadic debates for and against the use of textbooks
at all, elements such as volume and enhancements are
recurring arguments from the "no" side. Typical of this
criticism is Michel Barré's book from 1983: L'aventure
documentaire. Une alternative aux manuels scolaires. The
author views the question inter alia in a philosophical-
ecological context. Teachers are dissatisfied with the books,
so they turn to the copying machine. Yet they still continue
to use the textbooks. The result is unwarranted paper
consumption, a "massacre des forêts" (p. 22). According to
Barré, there are other ways to use literature, ways that can be
justified both ecologically and educationally, such as, for
example, school libraries and modern electronic media.
  A more profound consideration of the relationship between
extra-textual enhancements and educational objectives may
be found in Arthur Woodward's analysis "Do Illustrations
Serve an Instructional Purpose in U.S. Textbooks""
(Woodward 1991-93). The author refers to investigations that
concur fully about what teachers want: Textbooks should be
richly illustrated. Further, he refers to measurements
indicating that social science textbooks at the lower secondary
level sometimes have more illustrations than text. Woodward
also raises the question of the qualifications of teachers, i.e.,
the most important group of textbook selectors. This in turn
brings us to the question of teachers' qualifications, which is
discussed in the section on Consumer Approach (p. 309).

Political Approach
In all the western countries mentioned in this survey, we find
a mixture of private and public sector involvement in
textbook publishing. Despite sporadic proposals for and
attempts to set up state publishing houses, the private houses
are still publishing textbooks. Public funds are used to
purchase the books at the primary and lower secondary levels
and, in some countries, at the upper secondary level as well.
  In its own way, the textbook as a product is thus part of
the mixed economy typical of these countries. Textbooks are
industrial commodities sold on a market dictated by public
and private interests. They are considered a necessary part of
teaching. They are in demand and they command a price.
They are subject to requirements based on the needs of the
buyers. Many publishers compete with one another in the
west. Their textbooks vary in physical and educational
quality. In terms of such criteria, textbooks are at the mercy
of the ordinary principles of a market economy.
  Still, the authorities also exercise considerable influence on
this market. First of all, laws, regulations and curricula, most
clearly manifested through more or less formalized approval
systems, make it possible to control the content of the books.
Second, the authorities can regulate the market through
appropriations which may be either discontinued/reduced or
increased/elevated to subsidies, for example.
  Peter H. Neumann has investigated this system in France,
(West) Germany, Great Britain and the USA (Neumann 1989).
He arrived at six major questions which were asked in each
of the countries -the gist of the responses is given following
each question:

  1 What system is used for education and book
    (Compulsory basic education, national/local book

  2 Compared with other media, what part do textbooks
    play in the school today?
    (The teachers' unequivocal response was that the books
    are just as important as ever; however, sales do not
    substantiate this fully. Computers are considered at least
    as effective as books in certain subjects.)

  3 To what degree are textbooks an expression of national
    or other political interests?
    (Great Britain has exercised less syllabus control and
    more local autonomy than the other countries. But there,
    too, it is becoming increasingly difficult for publishing
    houses to base themselves on sufficiently widespread
    political or professional consensus to ensure large
    markets. First, because the local perspective is gaining
    ground in curricula and schools. And second, because:
    "Consensus has become more difficult to achieve
    following the social, scientific, and technical revolutions
    of the last decades." (P. 116.))

   4 Who approves the books, and how are they selected?
    (About the USA, see page 279. Only (West) Germany
    practices advance approval. France and Great Britain
    employ no approval schemes. Very little funding for the
    purchase of books comes from the national government,
    most of it derives from municipal sources. Irrespective
    of country, variations in municipal economy and
    practice will therefore lead to differences in the range
    and availability of books.)

  5 What role does the textbook industry play? How free is
    competition; how good are the textbooks?
    (Textbook production is the financial backbone of many
    publishing houses that publish other, more speculative
    types of publications. Still, the market is sensitive.
    Changes in curricula, school structure and the classes
    themselves may result in sharp shifts between competing
    publishers. The effects of financial uncertainty or
    downswings show up rapidly on school budgets. In 1980,
    book budgets on the whole were cut in all the countries
    investigated. The industry has no trade organizations
    that wield influence comparable to the teachers' unions,
    for example. None of the four countries were able to
    cite examples of regular or organized evaluations of
    textbook quality in the form of reviews or public

  6 What cooperation exists among the countries
    investigated, and between developed and developing
    countries, in the field of textbook development?
    (The field of textbooks is politically sensitive in an
    international context. An unwritten law states that every
    nation should develop its own textbook literature.
    However, plagiarism abounds, and exchanges, sale of
    rights, adaptation and translation between developed
    countries, especially in the natural sciences and foreign
    languages, are commonplace in the industry. In general,
    developing countries have not made much progress;
    Latin America and Africa comprise a market for
    publishers in the USA, Great Britain and France. Their
    involvement is partly commercial, partly non-

P. Goldstein wrote a book on textbook production in 1978:
Changing the American Schoolbook: Law, Politics and
Technology. He, too, points out the unpredictability of the
forces at work behind the production of textbooks. He asserts
that the status quo and repetition are a common policy
pattern among major publishing houses. This is true even of
fields such as locally/regionally adapted texts and in areas
involving new/untested teaching methods. According to
Goldstein, this lack of innovation is ascribable to causes other
than commercial publishing interests alone. The regulatory
system is deficient because it offers little protection against
the copying of even the most meticulously developed
innovations. State and regional authorities have traditionally
 been in favor of spending some of their school budgets on
innovation, but this attitude does not include innovation in
textbooks. However, on this point the textbook market is no
different from other types of consumer markets; it demands
novelty. In the 1970s the answer for the publishing houses
was "modernization", which mainly involved investing
money in further extra-textual enhancements.
  Goldstein's idea was picked up and developed further in
one rather outstanding publication written in the 1980s.
Hélène Huot's book from 1989, Dans la jungle des manuels
scolaires, is based on a holistic analysis of publishing house
production and policy from the viewpoint of society.
Formerly an upper secondary school teacher, Huot is now a
professor of linguistics at the Université de Paris VII. She has
edited the Bulletin d'information sur les manuels scolaires
since 1986. The journal is published three to four times a year
and it contains reviews of new textbooks for primary, lower
secondary and upper secondary schools. Huot's editorial work
aroused her interest in the part publishing houses play in
book development, so she undertook an investigation of
publishing houses and schoolbook production in France. One
of the most central topics in her book involves a phenomenon
that sheds light on several aspects of production, namely, "les
  In the 1980s, the market for lower secondary school
textbooks in France bore witness to a government resolution
enacted in 1977. The law, which is still in force, states that
the school shall provide pupils with textbooks and any
accompanying workbooks. Earlier, this applied to primary
school as well. Lower secondary schools were subject to an
additional provision, however: No set of books could be
renewed or discarded for at least four school years. Today
teachers still choose the books, but their choices take place
within budget quotas set by the state and municipality.
  For publishers, the ramifications of the act meant a
narrowing of the market in respect of "les collèges".
Nevertheless, they arrived at a solution that boosted sales as
well as revenues. They developed a type of book called
"livres parascolaires", which the schools are not obligated to
buy: Glossaries, sample examination questions and keys, study
guides with the syllabus in key word form, introductions to
study techniques, school editions of works of fiction.
Obviously, these types of books were not new. The innovative
idea was the shift in marketing strategy: Publishing houses
intensified their efforts to sell the books to parents, and their
strategy paid off thanks to growing skepticism about the
effectiveness of the school system (in the 1980s, the school
issue was one of the main planks in the political platform of
the non-socialist opposition to Mitterrand's government). At
least one innovation was developed at that time, however: A
new genre in the field of "parascolaires", namely "les
cahiers de vacances". These "vacation books" contain
summaries of the past year's syllabus and introduce new
material for the coming year to provide a "smooth
 transition" into the autumn. The vacation books turned out
to be best-sellers. The first publishing house on this market,
Hachette, grossed one-third of its 1988 textbook revenues
from the sale of "les parascolaires". Vacation book earnings
accounted for half of that one-third (Huot 1989, p. 98).
  Books of the "parascolaires" type sell very well not least
because of their price - and possibly also because of their
appearance. Parents find it easier to buy booklets at a price
of not more than NOK 40 - 50. The booklets are easy to
produce; they are generally printed in black and white and,
with their simple extra-textual enhancements and modest
number of pages, they seem less formidable than ordinary
textbooks. Hence a new situation has arisen, shaking up the
traditional textbook concept and entailing ramifications far
outside the textbook market alone. At least three questions
demand attention in this context:
  Shouldn't the success of such cheap black/white pamphlets
lead the authorities, publishers, teachers and researchers to
re-discuss and re-evaluate the textbook concept? If it turns
out that a growing number of pupils manage well without the
typical thick, heavy, lavishly enhanced, expensive textbooks
of the 1970s and 1980s, isn't the stage set and the market ripe
for a new type of books more in line with the views of Tiller
and Nordahl (see page 301), for example?
  If brief study guides and supplementary materials such as
"les parascolaires" were eventually to supplant textbooks,
what professional and educational consequences could this
change have?
  What does the strong, easily-won popularity of "les
parascolaires" say about the utility and quality of the books
that dominated the market in the 1980s? This last question
might also be posed in such a way as to place more emphasis
on the textbooks' dependence on their surroundings: How
high are the professional and educational ambitions in a
system which is - possibly - prepared to abandon the
principle of a broad, comprehensive presentation for the
principles of the "bare essentials""

Consumer Approach
In principle, there are three systems for book selection:
  The mandatory use of certain titles may be seen in
totalitarian states, where a (state) publishing house may have
a monopoly or where the state may select particular titles if
there are several works to choose from. One might also
contend that such mandatory use exists in western
democracies that practice approval schemes. However, no one
is required to use textbooks, and there are usually several
competing titles on the market. Yet if consensus and practice
say that books are to be used, if the curricula are so
comprehensive and teacher education so deficient that books
are viewed as an educational necessity, and if it is true that
books published by different publishing houses are essentially
the same, then the choice among different publishers is
illusory (Johnsen 1989). This actually places constraints on the
users and makes the market stable.
   The term advisory may be used to describe the attitude and
practice that dominate western countries - except that the
expression has to include weak as well as strong degrees of
  Although pupils at the upper secondary level pay for their
own books in most countries, the selection of books is usually
undertaken by teachers. Their freedom of choice is not total,
however, as there are a number of limiting factors. Influence
exerted by the school principal, the teachers' council, the
section and the parents, as well as the general financial
situation of the school in question, the size of the school and
the chances for selling the books second-hand - all these
conditions will exert varying degrees of influence on the
choice of textbooks and result in very different choices from
one school to the next. In any event, it is clear that teachers
play a key role in the process.
  This applies to primary and lower secondary school as well,
although the situation there is more complex. The books are
purchased with taxpayers' money, so the schools can lend out
the books and replace them when they are worn out and/or
out of date. Sweden is the most progressive country in this
sense, as the Ministry of Education wants to order the
municipalities to ensure that primary and lower secondary
school pupils are allowed to keep their textbooks in core
subjects (Government Proposition 1988/89:4). The division of
financial responsibility between state and local governments
is a crucial point in Sweden and in other countries. Most
countries have municipal or regional bodies which - always
within the parameters of specific budget quotas - are at least
theoretically in a position to influence and in some cases even
alter the proposals made by teachers and schools. The exercise
of influence prior to and during the book selection process is
difficult to unmask. There are examples of interventions
instituted by school boards, commissions or pressure groups
from outside the system to change selections that have been
made (Cody 1989, Moffett 1988), but they are rare. The
reasons cited for any such changes have usually involved
criticism of ideological points, occasionally criticism of the
subject matter and, exceptionally, pedagogical objections.
  Total freedom would mean that individual teachers could
choose literature independently, free from the influence of
colleagues, school administrators, parents, finances,
publishers' information and lists - based on their own
educational ideas and/or evaluations of pupils' needs and
possibilities. In light of the above, this kind of book selection
is unlikely ever to be anything but a theoretical model.

Teachers' Background and their Use of Books
The preceding point brings us to teachers' educational
qualifica-tions for evaluating and using textbooks.
  There are two conditions in particular that tend to
accentuate the issue of textbook knowledge in teacher
education. One is the books' continued dominant position in
 teaching (see page 176), the other is the sustained criticism of
the books' contents and of their educational and linguistic
quality (see page 185).
  Provided it is true that many books are in widespread
circulation despite the fact that they suffer from significant
deficiencies, then we must question whether this is
symptomatic of a fundamental shortcoming in teacher
education: Are new graduates less capable of making
independent educational and professional decisions than they
should be? Also, there is the question of whether or not
textbook knowledge has the status of an element or a separate
discipline in teacher education.
  As to the first question, of the many investigations
conducted in this field, few of them have taken textbooks
into account. It is also unlikely that textbook knowledge
comprises a separate, formal discipline in any country's
teacher education plans. On the other hand, familiarity with
teaching aids and, not least, the personal ability to select and
preferably develop teaching aids is often referred to as being
valuable and worthwhile.
  Moreover, teachers often say they find textbook selection
difficult, especially since they often do not discover the good
and bad points of textbooks until after they have actually
used them. Yet several investigations show that once a
textbook is selected, it often remains in use, and it may even
have a competitive edge when due for replacement - even
though it may not have been considered satisfactory. Such a
tendency is probably reinforced by the fact that the number
of books available in core subjects even in small western
nations is now so large that it has become virtually impossible
to keep abreast of all of them (see the section on Jansen 1969,
page 382).
  It must be interpreted as a sign of the absence or lack of
textbook knowledge in teacher education programs that
textbook selection is scarcely mentioned in educational
literature. However, there is one American investigation that
is comprehensive enough to deserve mention in this context.
  Ball and Feiman-Nemser reported on their study in an
article in Curriculum Inquiry: "Using Textbooks and
Teachers' Guides: A Dilemma for Beginning Teachers and
Teachers Educators" (Ball - Feiman-Nemser 1988). Based on
the situation discussed above, they posed three questions:

  1 What did teacher education students learn about
    textbooks and syllabus planning?

  2 How did teacher education students view topics such as
    the use of textbooks and syllabus planning once they
    completed their educations?

  3 How did they use textbooks and teachers' guides when
    they were doing their student teaching?

 The investigation was conducted over a two-year period
(1982-84). Six students were followed through their basic
teacher education courses. They attended two different
education programs with considerable "structural and
ideological differences" (the one focused on the teaching
role, the other on the learning role). The six students, all
female, were volunteers. Two had half-grown children. As to
their academic records, they spanned the full range of
performance levels.
  Ball and Feiman-Nemser registered how the students were
taught and their reactions to what they learned. The material
consisted of notes and tape recordings of classes and
conversations. The results were unequivocal for all students
in both groups. They may be summed up as follows:

  Although the student teachers were enrolled in two
  different teacher education programs, all of them
  developed the impression that if they wanted to be good
  teachers, they should avoid following textbooks and relying
  on teachers' guides. They believed that good teaching
  means creating your own lessons and materials instead.
  These ideas proved difficult to act on during student
  teaching when the student teachers worked in classrooms
  where textbooks formed the core of instruction and they
  confronted the fact that they were beginning teachers
  lacking knowledge, skill and experience. (Ball - Feiman-
  Nemser 1988, p. 401.)

Ball and Feiman-Nemser attach great importance to
observations of the relationship between subject matter and
educational ideology. They feel justified in saying that
teachers educators and the programs' educational direction
dominated to such an extent that "neither program pursued
a critique of the subject matter content" (p. 414). The
teachers assumed a certain level of subject insight among the
students, who were given the impression that their knowledge
and ideas were better suited as a point of departure than the
textbooks' (p. 414). In practice, the students' dilemma
unfolded as follows:

  In spite of what they had been taught in their courses, the
  student teachers in both programs ended up using textbook
  programs to teach reading, math, science, and social
  studies. Some student teachers felt pressed to maintain the
  established classroom practice. Others were simply
  overwhelmed by the responsibility of teaching for the
  entire day, and resorted to textbooks as a reasonable way
  to manage, or at least survive, the demands. (P. 415.)

Ball and Feiman-Nemser's demonstration of this dilemma -
or perhaps it should be called this vicious circle - amplifies
Vigander's view that anyone who wants to change something
in the system has to begin with the beginners (see page 87).
Further, Ball and Feiman-Nemser demonstrate the need for
more information about the relationship between teachers'
knowledge of subject matter and that of the books, in light of
curricula, education and the teaching situation.
  The investigation substantiates the claim that established
 teachers are, and that newly educated teachers become,
textbook users. This is supported by a French study which
measured teachers' attitudes toward textbooks. The study,
probably the most comprehensive of its kind, was to some
extent the result of increasing pressures on school budgets.
Compulsory schooling was introduced for everyone up to the
age of 15-16 in the 1970s. Up to then, pupils had gotten their
schoolbooks for free in primary school, but now that system
had to be expanded to include the lower secondary level.
Representatives of the state and local governments - who
were footing the bill - argued in favor of fewer, thinner
schoolbooks. Publishers, authors and many parents and
teachers feared government-run production and mounted a
counter-campaign under the slogan "Non à l'enseignement au
rabais" (No discount education). The discussion eventually
degenerated into a debate for and against the use of
textbooks, and in 1980 the ministry decided to ask a group of
researchers at the Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique
to investigate teachers' attitudes toward schoolbooks
(Tournier - Navarro 1985).
  A total of 2,282 questionnaires were completed by the same
number of teachers, divided among 124 lower secondary
schools and 38 upper secondary schools. The sample of
schools was drawn with an eye to encompassing variations in
numerous areas. The choice of teachers and questions was
based on five main variables: The different subjects/age of
pupils/age of teachers/sex of teachers/ education of teachers.
The questionnaires were very comprehensive. Statistical and
mathematical experts took part in planning the questions and
processing the responses.
  The answers may be summarized as follows: Practically all
the teachers viewed textbooks as an asset - most of them
described textbooks as indispensable. Yet at both the lower
and upper secondary school levels, teachers emphasized that
the books were something they themselves controlled the use
of; the books were tools, not commandments etched in stone.
It was possible to demonstrate clear differences related to
subject, level and teachers' education, but sex and age did not
appear particularly significant. The main trend was that
books were used more frequently in the humanities than in
the natural sciences, and that independence of the book
increased in direct proportion to the level being taught and
the education of the teacher.
  Two comprehensive American investigations point in the
same direction as the INRP report. In a poll conducted by the
National Assessment of Educational Progress for Reading
(Lapointe 1986), nine of ten primary and lower secondary
school teachers responded that they were satisfied with the
aids available for teaching reading and writing. According to
another poll, conducted by the Educational Products
Information Exchange Institute among 600 teachers, some 80
per cent of the respondents replied that they would use their
current books again in classes comparable to those they had
at the time (EPIE 1977). Yet another investigation was very
clear in its conclusion. In 1976, the US National Science
Foundation took the initiative to conduct several
investigations on classroom instruction in natural science,
 mathematics and social studies. An analysis of teachers'
attitudes toward social studies books concluded: "Teachers
tend not only to rely on, but to believe in, the textbooks as
the source of knowledge. Textbooks are not seen as support
materials, but as the central instrument of instruction by most
social studies teachers." (Shaver - Davis - Helburn 1979, p.
  A Norwegian study conducted in the 1970s may provide
certain grounds for making assumptions about how books are
selected for the schools. The Oppland County director of
schools wanted to know how teachers selected books, so
Oppland Regional College carried out a project over a two-
year period (Oppland Regional College, 1978). Their
questionnaire was distributed to schools in 24 municipalities;
approximately one-half of the schools responded. The two
most important sources of information were other teachers
and advertisements or courses sponsored by publishing
houses. There was a great deal of uncertainty about who it
was that selected the books at the individual school. A
majority believed the school board was responsible for
selection, while 20 per cent believed the individual school
itself was responsible for the final selection. In several cases,
there were different answers to the question from within one
and the same municipality.
  As regards teachers' own initiative, the investigation from
Oppland showed that the testing of new teaching materials
was often limited to teachers over the age of 40. This may
imply that experience is required before a teacher feels the
necessary confidence in relation to the books. However, this
investigation is now 15 years old. It stems from an era when
teachers' awareness of a personal, more "closed"
responsibility for and control of teaching was probably still
very strong. Today, development and testing are a formal part
of the school's cooperation pattern. One cannot therefore
assume that the answers to the questions about the use of new
books would have the same distribution now as they had a
generation ago. At the same time, it is possible that
generational differences are now less significant than the
differences between individual, more consistent types of
teachers. This question was discussed by Lee J. Cronbach in
an article entitled "The Text in Use" (Cronbach 1955), in
which he distinguishes between three main levels of
instruction and discusses the question of which type of
teacher the books are/should be primarily written for (see
page 181).
  The view that textbooks work best when they can
expeditiously be adapted to the teacher's style - and not vice
versa - has been further developed in Zahorik 1990 (see page
175). A recent Norwegian study has been done in the same
area. Sigrun Aaneby examined teachers' choices of natural
science textbooks at six upper secondary schools in the Oslo
area (Aaneby 1991). Her material consisted of recorded
interviews and conversations. The author takes a close look at
the various teachers' educations, backgrounds and working
situations. Significant differences in these areas result in
vastly different degrees of awareness of and preparation for
 the selection and use of textbooks - only slightly more than
half the teachers had read the prefaces of the books they were
using. (According to Aaneby, this is understandable; the
prefaces really say very little about the thought processes
underlying the books.) Aaneby also analyzed the selection
situation at the individual school before looking at the
features of the books that the teachers found important, e.g.,
the author's professional background and the books' extra-
textual enhancements (use of illustrations and colors):

  The teachers who are most satisfied with their selections do
  not find the textbook controlling ("I use my old
  educational ideas with the new book"). Those who
  experience the textbook as controlling, do not necessarily
  find that to be a problem ("It's a wonderful challenge"),
  although some teachers do find it a problem ("I was
  influenced far more than I realized." "Following the book
  makes one a poorer teacher."). (...) The key to successful
  textbook selection lies in finding textbooks that suit the
  teacher's educational ideas, so the teacher doesn't have to
  adapt to the book.
    In conclusion, I asked the teachers to say whether they
  feel a need for guidance in connection with textbook
  selection by asking this question: "Is there a need for
  assistance from other, independent, neutral bodies to help
  evaluate textbooks"?
    The responses I got indicate that there are divided
  opinions about this. Yet it is striking to note that those who
  are least satisfied with their own textbook selection are
  among the ones most pleased by the prospects of some kind
  of assistance. Those who are satisfied, on the other hand,
  believe such assistance to be unnecessary ("We have the
  expertise ourselves."). (Aaneby 1991, p. 10.)

Tentatively, Aaneby proffers the following answer to the
question of good textbook selection: "The teacher who selects
a textbook that has qualities which lead her to feel that the
book works well in the classroom has made a good selection"
(p. 2). Aaneby concludes by writing that "a good teacher-
textbook relationship must be based on the textbook suiting
the teacher, not on the teacher adapting to the textbook" (p.
  This view of the teacher-textbook relationship still leaves
one question unanswered. If the teacher practices an
instructional method which is not successful - is it possible to
exert a positive influence on this method through (better)
books? In other words and in a larger perspective: Can
textbooks improve schooling?

Teachers' Guides
Teachers' guides should give certain indications of how
textbook authors and publishers view the interaction between
textbooks, pupils and teachers. Such guides have scarcely
been studied. Teachers' guides are not encompassed by
approval schemes in some countries that practice such
schemes - Norway, for example. The few major studies made
 of such books have vastly different points of departure.
Ulrich Schubert has used teachers' guides and teachers'
manuals in local history and topography to study the
development of the subject from 1918 - 1965 (Schubert
1987). In the USA, Arthur Woodward believed that teachers'
guides could provide certain indications about teachers'
independence in relation to textbooks. He has analyzed
teachers' guides for textbooks from the 1920s to the 1970s
(Woodward 1986). Woodward finds a clear tendency away
from more general discussions of problems and strategies and
toward detailed descriptions of classroom instruction:

  In the case of the modern reading basal, it is notable that,
  in contrast to earlier materials, the role of the teacher is
  that of a manager of lessons, questions, and activities.
  Because recently published basals and teachers' guides
  attempt to meet every eventuality and need, teachers are
  given little discretion as to what can happen in a classroom.
  (Woodward 1990, p. 188.)

Teachers' guides are designed to accommodate as many needs
as possible. They cannot justifiably be viewed as indirect
descriptions of one teacher level or another. Yet when
analyzed over the course of time, as in Woodward's study, at
least they give an indication of the trend in opinion about
what most teachers need. One might claim that the genre
"guides" has been overlooked for far too long, consisting
mainly of "hit and miss" attempts, so the guides produced
during the past decades cover and express needs that have
existed for a long time. Insofar as such a claim is justified, it
is difficult to draw any definite conclusions from Woodward's
investigation about degree of textbook independence then and
now. Generally speaking, the question of how much can be
learned from teachers' guides will depend on one's view of
the publisher-teacher relationship. The more convinced one
is that publishers do everything in their power to satisfy
dominating, thoroughly analyzed teachers' needs, the more
reliable teachers' guides will be as testimony not only of
publishers' views of the teachers' independence, but also of
actual conditions. The question will then concern the extent
to which one can talk about thoroughly analyzed teachers'
needs at all. Since such analyses are rare, the question should
rather be: What needs have teachers expressed to the
publishers, which teachers express these needs and which
forums provide venues for such feedback?
  The grounds for asking these questions were derived
indirectly from an investigation referred to by Hélène Huot
(Huot 1989). In 1984-85, a national school commission
investigated teachers' relationships to textbooks in seven
French "départements". They used questionnaires, and the
results corroborated the trend demonstrated in the INRP
investigation (see page 313). The study concentrated on
finding out how teachers select textbooks. It turned out that
approximately 70 per cent of the teachers select the books
themselves, but that they take the school's traditions into
 account. Less than half of all participants felt they had
sufficient information to undertake such a selection. Three of
four answered in the affirmative when asked whether they
were in favor of a body that could provide information which
was as systematic, regular and neutral as possible. If this
degree of uncertainty is indicative of teachers in general,
there is even more reason to ask what the information the
other way, from the teachers to the publishers, that is,
actually consists of.
  A systematic analysis of the publishers' sales brochures and
advertisements would probably give a good indication of
what publishers see as teachers' most important needs. D.
Anderson analyzed publishing houses' "launching" language,
finding it to comprise a deliberate sales rhetoric which was
also incorporated into the textbooks; the wording,
arrangement and typography may give a first impression of
renewal and practical advantages which do not actually exist
(Anderson 1981). Perhaps analyses of this type should be
combined with investigations of teachers' own assessments of
the needs depicted in the advertisements. Theoretically, it
should be possible to analyze the entire flow of information
between producers and consumers, then to let these results
form the basis for incorporating an information system into
the school system itself, which takes account of the time
teachers spend studying. A large part of the framework for
such a program has already been set up by Hélène Huot in
her analysis of French publishing houses' information systems
(Huot 1989). The analysis sets the stage for a type of textbook
information based on a combination of registration and
reviews (Huot 1990).
  It is possible to define "teachers' guides" in purely
physical terms; they include printed booklets bearing the
name teachers' guides and are produced for teachers only.
There are also other types of printed teachers' guides which
are separate from the curricula. It is possible to talk about a
"hidden teachers' guide" in the textbooks. One issue that
remains open and has hardly ever been investigated is that of
the degree to which problems/ assignments and other
supplementary materials in the books are intended to be used
on the teacher's initiative. Authors and publishers will
contend that this must be up to the discretion of the
individual teacher. However, it has been shown that parts of
textbooks may be at a formal level that excludes the pupil
without any typographical or other indication that these pages
are intended for the teacher (Gillham 1986). This inherent
uncertainty may be sensed in the prefaces to textbooks.
Textbooks from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s demonstrate all
three of the main variations of addressee solutions found in
different countries: There are prefaces written directly and
exclusively to the pupil, prefaces written directly to the
teacher alone and prefaces clearly addressed to both parties
and/or which leave one in doubt as to the identity of the
intended addressee.
  On rare occasions, attempts have been made to register and
work with pupils' attitudes toward and wishes concerning
textbooks (see page 182). Yet there is no documentation that
 views or wishes from pupils have played any part in textbook
  Lists of textbook evaluation criteria have been and still are
produced by researchers, publishers, teachers' groups and
students. It would no doubt be extremely difficult to find
examples of any such lists that have been accepted as a
constant template for systematic use at the national or local
level by teachers' groups or school committees.
  The very few examples of major projects which try to
establish a procedure for more systematic evaluation of
textbook quality do not come from publishing houses. One
recent example in the Nordic countries is A Textbook on
Textbooks (LFF 1991); a book produced by the textbook
writers' trade association in Sweden. In 1988, the Institut
National de Recherche Pédagogique in Paris published Des
manuels pour apprendre (Textbooks to Learn From). Both
titles tend toward evaluative theories and cite some analytical
examples. The most recent and also the most comprehensive
work, however, is Alains Choppin's Les Manuels Scolaires
from 1992 (see page 150).

This chapter has distinguished between four different
approaches: Historical, technical-financial, political and
  As regards the historical approach, the work being
conducted at the Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique
in Paris is the only example of a broad, scientific registration
of the history of textbook publishing which cuts across the
lines between traditional publishing house histories. No one
can dispute the thoroughness of this work, which may well
become a model for work in other countries (see page 358).
In an unsigned review of the project's first subject lists
(textbooks in Greek and Latin), however, the method of
presentation was criticized. The books in each subject are
ordered chronologically and alphabetically by author's name.
According to the reviewer, this is by no means ideal if the
objective is to:

  (...) support historical research on subjects and disciplines,
  which is far more important and pressing than statistical
  studies. Anyone interested in the history of particular
  subjects needs to be able to distinguish among different
  levels (primary and lower secondary, upper secondary,
  short/long, classical/modern, etc.), and among different
  types of textbooks (grammars, anthologies, exercise books,
  dictionaries, etc.). Naturally, it is also important to be
  familiar with prolific authors, but not with publication
  dates, author names and book types, all mixed up together.
  Of course, it is possible to design lists of levels and book
  types based on the registers at the back. But these refer to
  numbers in the chronological list, so such an approach
  would call for time-consuming, tedious efforts. (Manuels
  scolaires 10/1988, p. 40.)
 This criticism reveals a certain conflict between educational
and historical priorities. The conflict is not limited to the
historical approach; it also appears in several other areas
when attempts are made to strike a balance between
theoretical and applied research. It is evident, for example, in
the researcher-publisher relationship. This cannot accurately
be called a conflict, of course, since it is not manifest. It is
rather a lack of contact and information. The problem stems
from a lack of basic discussion about the purpose of
investigating what one investigates. In the example from
INRP, the reviewer maintains that it is not enough to state
that one wishes to pave the way for textbook research, one
must also identify the type of research.
  Technical-financial and political approaches to research
tasks are addressed indirectly in John H. Williamson's list of
"facts" and "myths" in the publishing industry (see page
269). Publishing statistics, estimates, budgets and accounts
from individual publishing houses are to some extent
accessible and they could provide a basis for analyses.
However, such analyses also presuppose clearly defined
objectives. But who shall define them -and in which direction
- as long as knowledge of and viewpoints on the ultimate
goal, i.e., the textbooks' functions and methods of use, are as
limited and uncertain as research indicates? This makes it
difficult to argue in favor of one technical-financial solution
or another without relating the material and methods to a
convincing, well-grounded idea of what kind of books one
wants to see produced, distributed and used. This comes to
light clearly in Tiller and Nordahl 1989, and in the
investigation conducted by Norway's State Textbook
Committee (Ulvik 1991). The latter study aimed at registering
user reactions to a special type of book which in itself
comprised a technical-financial experiment. So-called dual
language editions (60 per cent bokmål (Dano-Norwegian) and
40 per cent nynorsk (New Norwegian)) were published to
save money so that linguistic minority groups could be
ensured access to books. The investigation found significantly
less correlation than expected between language policy
background and book evaluations. Ulvik's study shows how
literary quality and pupils' perceptions of it are superordinate
to the politically motivated, structural and technical-financial
factors which were to be measured.
  A number of investigations deal with coverage; e.g., how
the individual school, municipality or region is supplied with
(approved) textbooks. A Swedish investigation, Ds 1988:22,
has been mentioned as being especially thorough. One
characteristic feature of this study and of other similar
studies is that their basic attitude toward textbooks is positive
- in contrast to many other types of studies. Consistent with
the principles of western mixed economies, such
investigations are often the result of cooperation between
 publishing houses and municipalities, such as, for instance,
when municipalities take part in polls organized by publishers
(The Norwegian Publishers Association 1991). Strictly
speaking, however, it is amazing that such investigations take
place and are followed up at a point in time when the
curricula have been calling for minimal textbook use and
maximal production by teachers themselves for years. It is
also remarkable that such studies can trigger "rescue
operations" on the part of the State if they reveal significant
needs or biases (Johnsen 1989).
  These examples underline the need for a thorough
clarification, first and foremost, of the question of which
holistic perspective one is trying to place technical-financial
and publishing policy conditions into, not least in relation to
problems and experiences from other areas, including books
in use.
  As to consumer-related approaches, the main question is
how teachers select textbooks. This has rarely been
investigated by direct observation, as was the case in Ball and
Feiman-Nemser 1988. The study must be given credence
because it was based on classroom observations, logs and
notes from the respondents and interviews. In addition, it was
conducted over a two-year period. On the other hand, no
more than six students/teachers took part in the project and
they were all female (see page 312).
  Although the investigation conducted by Ball and Feiman-
Nemser in this field is somewhat exceptional, it can be placed
in the tradition in which the objective is to find out how
independent and controlling teachers are in relation to
textbooks. There is far more information available from the
numerous investigations in which teachers themselves
describe their attitudes to textbooks by completing
questionnaires. Examples from the USA, France and Norway
have revealed a general tendency for the majority of teachers
to want and use books, but they want books adapted to their
way of teaching. The results of such surveys are not
unequivocal, however. For example, conflicting conclusions
have been drawn about the connection between teaching
experience and the degree of teacher control when using
textbooks (see page 171). At the same time, several
comprehensive classroom studies indicate very different
teachers' attitudes and ways of using textbooks than the
surveys based on questionnaires might indicate.
  If it is true that teachers are extremely dependent on
textbooks in their teaching, it is remarkable that teachers'
guides are not formalized as a regular part of teacher
education and that they have so rarely been analyzed as major
sources of knowledge about prevailing educational
  Another open question is which of Cronbach's teacher
types textbooks are written for (see page 181). In principle,
today's textbooks are not written for teachers. When
completing a questionnaire sent out in 1991 by the Norwegian
Non-Fiction Writers' and Translators' Association, most
 Norwegian textbook authors responded that they write for the
pupils (Haavelsrud 1991). It is paradoxical that we
nevertheless know more about teachers than pupils as
textbook users. Cronbach 1955 contains an analysis by Willard
B. Spalding: "The Selection and Distribution of Printed
Materials". Spalding points to stability and stagnation as a
pattern in the production, sales and selection processes. He
concludes that change and development are contingent on
theoretical discussions and clarifications. There can be no
improvement without scientifically-tested theories about
what good textbooks are. Spalding explains the consequences
of a lack of theory as follows:

  It seems probable that the absence of tested theory about
  the good text leads to or perpetuates five conditions.
    First, it leads to political decisions about who shall
  advise in the selection of books. If there were tested
  theory, then persons could be trained as experts in the use
  of theory. (...)
    Second, it leads to the selling of books rather than to
  their selection. Again, if tested theory were used by
  experts in each school system, the needs of the local
  schools, the problems of the local culture, the ability of the
  local children, the skill of the local teachers, and similar
  items could be brought to bear upon the problem of
  selecting material. (...)
    Third, it leads to diversity in the procedures for
  selection. The absence of theory makes it impossible to
  train people to select books well. (...)
    Fourth, it perpetuates the lack of training in selection
  and use of texts which is so characteristic of colleges of
  education and teachers' colleges today. (...)
    Fifth, it perpetuates the role of the band wagon, the
  selection of books solely because many other persons have
  chosen them. (...) The need for security when making
  difficult decisions will undoubtedly keep the band wagon
  rolling until a tested theory can be developed and persons
  trained to use it. When this happens, they will feel secure
  in doing what they know they can do well, and the band
  wagon will have fewer riders. (Spalding 1955, pp. 181-82.)

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