Due to the cancellation of this year’s didacta education fair in Stuttgart, the GEI joined with the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Didacta Association in releasing video messages to honour the winners of the Textbook of the Year award. The videos were simultaneously made available on YouTube on 16.06.2020. The prize is sponsored by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs.
This year the awards honoured primary school textbooks for languages, mathematics and general studies. Professor Eckhardt Fuchs, director of the GEI and jury chair, and Thomas Krüger, president of the Federal Agency for Civic Education posted video messages alongside the three congratulatory speeches from the individual juries.
Professor Claudia Finkbeiner, professor for foreign language learning and language research at the University of Kassel, announces the winners in the language category. Professor Torsten Fritzlar from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, who works in the field of primary school didactics for mathematics and media, represents the jury for mathematics textbooks. A speech congratulating the winner of the general studies category is given by Professor Beate Blaseio, an expert in the didactics of general studies teaching for primary schools from the Europa-Universität Flensburg.
As Professor Fuchs says, ‘regardless of their format, textbooks not only disseminate knowledge and skills but also act as an important barometer for social processes of change. It is therefore important to recognise the dedication and work of publishers and textbook authors, who influence the thinking of the next generation of children and adolescents through the creation of textbooks and through this make an important social contribution’. These principles underpin the jury’s selction each year.
In the language category, the French textbook Tous ensemble. Ma ville from the Ernst Klett Verlag was awarded first place. The jury was impressed by the book’s focus on listening skills and the playful approach to studying the rhythm and intonation of the French language.
The book MiniMax 1 for year one pupils, also from the Ernst Klett Verlag, came first in the Mathematics category. The jury praised the clear structure and setting of exercises as well as the way it encouraged partner work when learning calculation strategies.
In the general studies category the winner was the textbook NaTech 3/4 by the schulverlag plus AG, Lehrmittelverlag Zürich. A decisive feature of this book, designed for years 3 and 4 of Swiss primary schools, is that its content is clearly categorised and always relates to the world in which the young pupils live.
Detailed jury comments can be found here:
Link to the speeches:
About the award
The Georg Eckert Institute has presented the ‘Textbook of the Year’ award annually since 2012. With its partners the bpd (Federal Agency for Civic Education) and the Didacta Association, the Institute is able, through this award, to recognise and honour publishers and authors who have developed and implemented innovative textbook concepts, and to support the development and revision of educational materials. Textbooks for primary schools, lower secondary schools and upper secondary schools are targeted in turn in a three-year cycle.
More information about the Textbook of the Year Award can be found here:
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