Textbook revision true to spirit

Updated: 2014-06-19 07:07

(China Daily)

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Education authorities recently approved the revised Chinese textbooks for primary and junior middle schools, but many people have questioned the lack of classics in the texts that they believe is important for children. Revisions of textbooks, however, should be aimed at facilitating the overall development of students, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:

The latest revision of textbooks is aimed at improving students' overall competence in Chinese, because the Chinese language should be used as a tool for expressing emotions and exchanging opinions. Textbooks should thus help cultivate aesthetics among students and enhance their ability to think. In this sense, the latest textbook revision meets the requirements.

It is very difficult to decide what lessons should be included in textbooks. And although the information contained in the new texts are quite rich, they can be interpreted differently. For example, the song The Heavenly Road included as a teaching material for grade two students has raised a dispute even though it is excellent as a study material.

Besides, the ideas and aesthetic orientation that literary works convey could arouse controversies, which adds to the charm of the texts. While revising Chinese textbooks, it is difficult to ignore the ultimate moral message that texts convey, yet efforts could be made to play down stereotypes and focus on how to better cater to the tastes of different groups.

In the final analysis, the only criterion to judge a textbook is whether or not children like it and whether they appreciate its aesthetic message. Therefore, the best judges of the revision are children. Also, since the ultimate goal of textbooks is to educate and enlighten our children, textbook compilers should keep children's needs in mind.