Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gregory D. Freeman & Lisa B. Lucius
Textbooks have been an important part of American education almost from the beginning of efforts to provide universal public education. A common text from which to teach and learn was viewed as essential for teaching groups of students. In addition to being a tool for teaching, the textbook was considered useful for instilling desirable values in children and establishing American traditions. As schools progressed and changed during the nineteenth century and twentieth century into the twenty-first century, textbooks have remained an integral part of schools. As such, textbooks have been a focus in attempts to improve schools, an element of efforts to influence the minds of children and thereby the character of the nation, and the target of criticisms of schools. It is widely recognized, though not always viewed favorably, that the teacher is at the center of the classroom and the textbook the teacher's most frequently used tool. Textbooks ...