Visual Representation of the Curriculum in Geography Textbooks

the structure of visuals in educational medium analysis

  • Petr Trahorsch J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem
  • Jan D. Bláha
Keywords: Visual, Textbook analyses, Visual component of the textbook ;, Visual research, Geography textbook


One of the most important components of the textbook are visuals which might facilitate the learning process. In some cases, however, due to their inconvenient structure misconceptions might arise. The aim of this study is to analyse and evaluate how convenient the structure of visuals represented in the curriculum in Czech geography textbooks is. For this purpose, we have used an expert evaluation of visuals in 16 textbooks by the quantitative content analysis method; visuals were categorised into groups based on four analysis criteria: type of visual, headline, thematic focus and colour; we were also interested in the space assigned to visuals in the textbook. The results of the analysis show that the key feature in geography textbooks are photographs; whose educational value is far less in comparison to other kinds of visuals. The amount of visuals without any heading is rather alarming. In contrast, there is a high proportion of coloured visuals which might have a positive effect on the learning outcome.

Author Biographies

Petr Trahorsch, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem

Petr Trahorsch is postgradual student at Faculty of Education of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad
Labem. The focus of his research is geography education, especially textbooks analyses (expert and user 
evaluation of visuals). He also teaches geography at lower secondary school and he is the author of the
Geography Olympiad tests in the Czechia.

Jan D. Bláha

Jan D. Bláha is assistant professor at Faculty of Science of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem.

The focus of his research is analysis of cartographic works and usability of cartographic works. He is also

an expert in aspects of visual communication.