Mathematics - Guidelines for Textbook Authors




Guidelines for Textbook Authors (Grades 1-8)



A textbook is an important teaching and learning tool and a standard source of information for the formal study of a subject. Writing a textbook is an extremely important and technical task in the sense that it requires the translation of curriculum learning outcomes at the proper cognitive level of the learners. The textbook authors are required to understand the curriculum in letter and spirit. In this regard, the following key points are of fundamental importance:

  • Complete understanding of the content of the curriculum
  • Background knowledge of the development of the National Curriculum (NCP)
  • Understanding of the CPA (Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract) approach
  • Realization of the thoughts of the ones who developed the curriculum
  • Realization of the responsibility of a National Textbook Author

Keeping the above key points in mind, the textbook authors are recommended to follow the following, but not limited to these, guidelines:

  • The first and foremost responsibility of a textbook author is to translate the spirit of the curriculum into content and activities/exercises of the textbook. Therefore, the textbook author needs to go through the curriculum by time and again in order to have an in-depth understanding.
  • Prepare a mind map of themes and learning outcomes, that is, chapter-wise distribution/ presentation of the scheme of the SLOs.
  • It is necessary for the authors to remember, all the time, that the learning approach adopted in the development of this curriculum is the CPA approach. Therefore, it is required for the authors to introduce each and every concept following the CPA approach. Ignorance in this regard might result in a great deviation from our goals.
  • The textbook should be written in such a manner that it should carry a thorough continuation among the contents presented in a different chapter.
  • Retain and limit the textual material to the learning outcomes details. Consider the time allocated to the subject in the scheme of studies. This will help to decide the length, width, and depth of chapters/topics and concepts.
  • Select accurate, authentic, and up-to-date text, and real-life examples.
  • Make the mathematical concepts interesting and easy to understand for the children through relevant activities, information boxes, and pictures etc.
  • The material must help to enhance the knowledge of learners, develop inquiry skills, and engage them in higher-order thinking.
  • The content should be interactive and appealing for further learning of the learners.
  • The content should help the child make connections between the different concepts.
  • The material should help learners to understand the world in which they live and grow as lifelong learners.
  • The material must be relevant and error-free.
  • The material must be free from gender, ethnic, regional, and all sorts of biasedness.
  • Use attractive and engaging text, tables, graphs etc. along with clear and appropriate illustrations which must be properly labeled and captioned.
  • The textbook should have a variety of practical and thought-provoking activities to develop long-lasting learning of the learners.
  • Exercises should include clues to encourage learners to think, develop skills, and use the information for a variety of purposes.
  • If a particular topic involves various types of problems or techniques, each type should be given importance individually. Accordingly, the exercises should also include the questions of every type in the order they are introduced in the text.
  • Authors should consider introducing structural questions (involving a gradually increasing level of difficulty i.e., from low to moderate, and then to higher-order)
  • The textbook must contain a Table of Contents, a list of Mathematical symbols, and a Glossary.
  • The textbook must be contextually relevant and applicable in the normal classroom environment.
  • The figures, illustrations, and pictures should be from the local/Pakistani environment.
  • Include an appropriately developed assessment after a few concepts/themes, topics/subtopics in each chapter.
  • Last but not the least, the textbook should contain material that could make the learners to think beyond the textbook.

 Guidelines for Writing a Chapter

In order to make the learning interesting and exciting and to provide a strong foundation for higher-order learning, each chapter in the mathematics textbooks must have the following, but not limited to these, features:

  • A chapter should start as a continuation of the previous chapter or even a previous section. It is necessary for the authors to start with the facts (either from the existing knowledge of the learners or from daily-life situations) that highlight the need for the contents of that chapter.
  • Chapter opener to introduce the chapter with title, full page-colored photographs, and Specific Learning Outcomes (SLOs).
  • SLOs at the beginning of each chapter clearly describes the objectives and the tasks that are to be achieved in the chapter.
  • Keywords, terms and definitions to be highlighted in the text.
  • Headings and subheadings with specific colors to show different levels of activities.
  • Math tidbits to provide snippets of interesting and useful knowledge.
  • Attractive and colorful illustrations to captivate learners.
  • Questions like “Do You Know?” to recall, think, and apply what they have learned as well as to reinforce the learning of key concepts and principles.
  • Relevant everyday experiences and contexts are used.
  • Hands-on activities to encourage the learners to make their own inquiries.
  • Skills and processes to infuse values, ethics and attitude.
  • Mini-exercise to provide questions involving scientific investigations and relating mathematics contents with the technology, society, and environment.
  • Authors are encouraged to introduce the activities/exercises to be done in groups to make the students interact and share their mathematical concepts with each other. This will indirectly refine their mathematical concepts and will contribute to leading them towards collaborative studies.
  • Awareness beyond the classroom to widen the horizon of the learners by providing interesting information and introducing, more advanced relevant concepts according to grade level in an understandable way.
  • Key Points to provide a summary of the concepts and principles studied in a chapter should be included at the end of that chapter.
  • Review Questions at the end of each chapter to:
    • recall and integrate previous learning
    • engage and develop their creativity
    • move from lower higher-order thinking
    • develop process skills
    • develop multiple intelligences
  • Think-Tank/Investigate to include open-ended questions to provoke learners' thinking, creativity and investigation skills.
  • Addresses of relevant websites and online learning centers/resources should be mentioned at the end of each chapter so that the learners and teachers can get up-to-date information about the concepts. The material should reflect the role of technology to promote learning with understanding. Beware that the referred websites or centers should not include material contrary to our religious, moral, ethical, cultural, and social values.
  • Teacher Guide should include tips to teachers at relevant places in chapters to explain different concepts and to use a variety of tools/materials, and activities.