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History of the School Textbook

  • Steffen Sammler
Chapter

Abstract

The institutionalisation of school-based education and the technical advances of the printing press from the fifteenth century onwards acted together to secure the textbook its prime place as the key medium for education in European schools. It has held this position unrivalled until the very recent emergence, commencing around the turn of the millennium, of its first radical challenge in the shape of digitalisation and the novel possibilities for the transmission of knowledge it presents. Historically, textbooks have long been subject to control exercised through education policy by and on behalf of societal elites, a control emerging through competition among specialist subject disciplines and education science, which together define the canon of knowledge to be taught in each school subject. This said, textbooks have responded to profound changes in society’s ideas of childhood and adolescence by developing target group-specific products which have harnessed aesthetic and technical innovations.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steffen Sammler
    • 1
  1. 1.Georg Eckert Institute - Leibniz-Institute for International Textbook ResearchBraunschweigGermany

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