How is the Textbook of the Year Selected?
The winning entry is selected through a two-step process. An expert panel assesses the submitted material in each category. The individual panels draw up a shortlist of five titles per category, which a grand jury, comprising all panel members, then deliberates upon. The grand jury, which also contains the chairs of the expert panels, nominates three titles from each category and decides the overall winner.
The ‘Textbook of the Year’ must demonstrate a coherent concept that addresses the central challenges of the subject and fosters age-appropriate knowledge and skills using current didactic methods.
The textbook must of course be factually accurate, and must be based on the current state of research in the field. The panels are looking for creativity in the implementation of the topics and methods outlined in the curricula. The introduction of inter-disciplinary perspectives would be an added bonus.
Textbooks should tie in with pupils’ perceptions and relate to their environment. The juries are looking for works that represent the diversity of our society and encourage inclusion.
Tasks and exercises should be age-appropriate and should aim to foster subject-specific skills. They should also encourage independent thought and learning, and allow differentiation by be tailored to a range of learning levels.
A clearly arranged textbook enables better orientation between topics and easier systemisation of knowledge. It is particularly important that texts are easily intelligible and that age-appropriate language is used.
An appropriate layout that clearly presents the content motivates pupils to read and to learn. Interesting photos, imaginative illustrations and digital add-ons that tie-in meaningfully with the text provide alternative approaches to the topic and encourage further contemplation of the themes raised.