|GATE - 1986/3 - Appropriate Teaching Materials (GTZ GATE, 1986, 56 p.)|
As in many other fields, educational hardware and software cannot simply be transferred from one country to another. Education touches on a range of topics that are highly country-specific: language, religion, natural history, pictorial tradition, natural environment, styles of behavior, etc. Education is the most significant agent in the socialization of new generations. Any national education authority will therefore insist that the teaching materials used in that country reflect national values, preferences, and goals. The respective ministries of education will further wish to make sure that the work of developing teaching materials is entrusted to nationals, not foreigners.
Appropriate teaching materials can be appropriate in more than one way. First, they transmit nationally accepted content (which might have been imported from outside, as in the case of natural science, but is high/y valued for its instrumental use). Second, they represent the national culture and/or local variants in terms of the topics dealt with, aesthetic expressions, and perception patterns. Third, they convey the Ideal image of a national society and, finally, they are geared to the income of pupils' or students' parents. The last criterion implies that they must not be costly. In terms of quality, however, they must not be cheap either. In every country, the external. presentation of teaching materials conforms to certain quality standards. Teachers and their superiors are well aware of these standards, and any materials which look »cheap« stand a fair chance of being rejected, no matter how good their content is.
All in all, a very complex topic; this issue of "gate" will try to throw some light on it.