Research Study on the Comprehensibility and Readability of Elementary/Lower Secondary School Textbooks
Grant-in-Aid for Special Purposes
|Allocation Type||Single-year Grants |
|Research Institution||Japan Textbook Research Center |
FUJIMURA Kazuo Japan Textbook Research Center, the Chief of Division, 研究部長 (60291952)
MATSUMOTO Osamu Joetsu University of Education, college of Education, Assistant Professor, 学校教育学部, 助教授 (80283042)
SHIMOJO Takashi Tokyo Gakugei University, Faculty of Education, Professor, 教育学部, 教授 (50014767)
IWATA Kazuhiko Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, Professor, 学校教育学部, 教授 (40020119)
NINOMIYA Akira Hiroshima University, Faculty of Education, Professor, 教育学部, 教授 (70000031)
YOSHIDA Minoru Shinshu University, Faculty of Education, Professor, 教育学部, 教授 (40201016)
|Project Period (FY)
2000 – 2003
Completed (Fiscal Year 2003)
|Budget Amount *help
¥12,900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥12,900,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥2,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥2,300,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥5,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥5,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥5,600,000 (Direct Cost: ¥5,600,000)
|Keywords||textbook / learning material / teaching material / learning / comprehension of sentence / elementary school / lower secondary school / education of subject|
Textbooks currently in use are not necessarily easy for students/children either to read or to understand. Based on the 'Readability Formula for Textbooks' developed in America, the comprehension and readability of Japanese textbooks were analyzed. However, it proved impossible to apply the formula directly to the Japanese case.
Therefore, a survey targeted at children/students and teachers, comprised of a questionnaire with examples of various subjects, was carried out as a means of examining conditions that obstruct or facilitate comprehensibility and readability. Research was also undertaken to compare and contrast Japanese textbooks with those of America and England. The results of the questionnaire indicate that teachers' opinions are differ from children/students' opinions in many points as to the qualities of a desirable textbook.
For example, it appears that children find it easier to understand problems in sixth grade arithmetic when explanations based in everyday situations are provided, whereas teachers tend to think otherwise. The teachers' educational motivation to help students get accustomed to descriptions that are not based in everyday situations is understandable given the transition from arithmetic taught in elementary school to that taught in lower secondary school. However, it appears that children consider such descriptions necessary.
In the case of science textbooks, teachers are keen for children to experience a sense of excitement and discovery through the lessons and accordingly prefer the results of experiments to be withheld. But the children would like textbooks to give them detailed explanations of the results so that they can understand them through reading.
If textbooks are to be regarded as teaching materials then the editorial policy should respect the teachers' opinions. However, if the textbooks are to be seen as learning materials for the students' own study then the policy should be changed accordingly
Report (5 results)
Research Products (6 results)