Posts tagged ‘textbooks’

26 March 2011

Kim Jong-il clean, says textbook

Gossip: Žižek says (around minute 1:32, counting down of “TALK”) that a friend told him about a North Korean primary school textbook which explains to the kids that Kim Jong-il is so clean that “he doesn’t need to shit and urinate”.

22 March 2011

New design

Inspired by research on textbooks. Indeed. One of the core scholarly insights I was often told when hanging out at the educational publishers in Germany was that research had shown the optimal length of a line of print. So that school children can comfortably read the text, take in the information, and reflect/critically appraise or whatever their particular task is.

Now I have finally found an article which argues this. It’s all about the “three-second-rule”.

Apparently, the brain has a three-second window which typography should make the most of. The eye should be able to take in the whole line in under 3 seconds. Textbooks in particular, writes the author, don’t adhere to this three-second-rule. Nor did this blog until I changed the design today.

Thanks to Robert Maier for the reference: Ernst Pöppel: Was geschieht beim Lesen? In: APuZ (Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte) 42-43/2009, S. 45

(Check Ernst Pöppel’s very amusing, informative and entirely subversive Personal Publication Platform.)

26 April 2010

Science textbooks, girls and performance

World Science reports that “mostly-male book images may reduce girls’ science scores“. Or to frame it more positively, more images of girls in the textbooks increased girls’ performance.

Part of the rea­son boys tend to out­score girls in sci­ence clas­ses may be that most text­books show pre­dom­i­nantly male sci­en­tists’ im­ages, a small ex­plor­a­to­ry study has found.

The stu­dy, on 81 young high-school stu­dents, saw the “gen­der gap” ap­par­ently re­versed when youths were tested based on a text con­tain­ing only female sci­ent­ist im­ages, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said. The gap re­turned in its usu­al form when ma­le-only im­ages were used—and van­ished when the pho­tos showed equal num­bers of men and wom­en sci­en­tists, re­search­ers said. … (April 23, 2010)

The full stu­dy: Jes­si­ca J. Good, Julie A. Woodzicka and Lylan C. Wingfield (2010). “The Effects of Gender Stereotypic and Counter-Stereotypic Textbook Images on Science Performance”, Jour­nal of So­cial Psy­chol­o­gy150 (2): 132-147. (Abstract)