Refining primary textbooks for behaviour change in Bangladesh

  • Andy Smart Independent
Keywords: textbooks, social studies, structured pedagogy, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), Bangladesh

Abstract

It is not surprising that little is known about the criteria of effective textbooks because they are only one among a complex range of factors that affect teaching and learning. On the other hand, more is known about the potential of structured pedagogy in improving learner experiences and learning outcomes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In many LMICs, textbooks for subjects such as social studies are often presented as a sequence of comprehension exercises, and fail to model good pedagogy, develop good learning processes and model good student behaviors. This paper is an account of how government primary school social studies textbooks in Bangladesh were revised in order to reflect curricular aims in a clearer, more engaging, and more practical way for classroom conditions in poorly-resourced contexts. The revised textbooks include a structured pedagogy rather than a content-heavy, comprehension-based approach, and thereby aim to better achieve behavior change.

Author Biography

Andy Smart, Independent

Andy Smart is a former teacher with almost 20 years’ experience working in educational and children’s book publishing in England and Egypt and 20 years as a consultant to international agencies such as the World Bank, DFID, Unicef, USAID and DANIDA. He specializes in textbook policy, textbook development and the interface between curriculum, pedagogy and textbooks. He has worked in some 30 countries in total. He is a member of the board of IARTEM and is also a co-convener of NISSEM.org, where he is interested in how textbooks support pro-social learning in low- and middle-income countries. He is the co-author of a recent study of textbook policies in Asia: https://www.adb.org/publications/textbook-policies-asia

Published
2019-11-18