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Training Tools for Curriculum Development. A Resource Pack
Core Modules


  1. Policies for provision management

  2. Textbook evaluation and approval

  3. Supplementary teaching and learning materials

  4. Decisions about implementing

  5. The teacher as curriculum materials developer


This module offers opportunities for curriculum professionals to develop their understanding of policies and processes related to the development of textbooks and other teaching / learning materials by exploring:

  • Some features of a range of textbook development schemes;
  • Possible roles of the Ministry of Education in providing easily accessible and quality textbooks;
  • Approaches to ensuring quality textbook development;
  • The evaluation of textbooks using agreed criteria;
  • Other materials (both print and non-print) that can support the teaching and learning process;
  • The development of community-based supplementary teaching and learning material.

The module contains five activities:

  1. Policies for provision management. General options for designing a policy for textbook development.
  2. Textbook evaluation and approval. Use of criteria for revising textbooks.
  3. Supplementary teaching and learning materials. Enables discussion on the wider scope of teaching materials that have to be considered for production and/or acquisition.
  4. Decisions about implementing e-learning. Highlights some particular points to be considered when planning the implementation of e-learning strategies.
  5. The teacher as curriculum materials developer. Discuss teacher efforts to produce curriculum materials sensitive to the local conditions.

Following these activities is a “Resources” section which contains a list of discussion papers and other resources referred to in the activities, as well as additional reading material.

Conceptual framework
Equal access to quality basic education is a key educational policy target of all countries. In this framework, quality teaching and learning materials are expected to be available for all students.

The textbook is one type of resource and a vital one in many contexts. In developing countries, textbooks are a de facto syllabus and, apart from the teacher, the most important support for the acquisition of knowledge and skills. They may also be the only source of information about the curriculum for the teacher; the only books available in the average child’s household, and the main source of reading for the child4.

This module explores trends in and processes of textbook development. In so doing the module examines the obstacles that publishers, ministries of education, and other actors in this field may encounter in their attempts to provide easily accessible and high quality textbooks. Policy strategies and best practices are included.

Ideally teachers should have teaching-learning resources available in addition to textbooks. Access to the internet opens up enormous opportunities to provide materials to supplement textbooks and enrich the learning environment. However, the ready availability of these new materials also presents challenges to traditional approaches to the evaluation and approval of teaching-learning resources.

Bias Detection, Criteria for Textbook Evaluation, Distribution, E-Learning, Trends, Non-Print Materials, Production, Rental Scheme, Technical Specifications, Textbook Adoption, Textbook Approval, Textbook development.

4 Hunt, T. (2006) “Five Case Histories of Textbook Development”. In: Braslavsky, C. (ed.) Textbooks and quality learning for all: some lessons learned from international experiences, Paris, UNESCO IBE.