THE USE OF TEXTBOOKS IN THE SPANISH SCHOOL CONTEXT An analysis on teachers’ perspectives

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik

Abstract: The tendency in the use of textbooks in Spain has raised questions in relation to the way teachers perceive the use of these materials, what are the reasons behind their use and the possible alternatives that can be introduced. With the use of a virtual ethnography, the present dissertation aims to examine a series of forums and blogs and this way, extract the reflections of Spanish teachers among these issues. The topics that arise derive on matters related to the role of teachers and textbooks, the teaching profession, educational values and the purpose of Education, which have been analysed while being based on Basil Bernstein’s theory. The results have shown that these resources are indeed influencing the way education and society is configurated. Teachers position very contrastingly either in favour or against the use of these materials, reflecting on the establishment of weak or strong frames and classification and also emphasizing the instrumental or the expressive orders. While textbook supporters believe that Education should be based on the accomplishment of the established demands specified on the curriculum, textbook detractors propose a series of alternatives that are based on the development of more moral contents in contraposition to an instrumentalized approach. However, in response towards a series of pressures that textbook detractors criticize at an institutional, political, and social level, some part of the teaching staff argues on their desire of implementing these materials. On the other hand, some teachers that position against the use of textbooks criticize precisely the fact that the way the teaching profession is configurated does not allow them to introduce alternative materials, opening a debate that widens the distinction between teaching and educating and the way they see the purpose of Education.

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