A multinational study of authors’ perceptions of and practical approaches to writing geography textbooks

Jongwon Lee, Simon Catling, Gillian Kidman, Robert Bednarz, Uwe Krause, Andoni Arenas Martija, Koji Ohnishi, Di Wilmot, Stefanie Zecha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Like all school textbooks, geography textbooks are authored. Almost all textbook research in and beyond geography has neglected their authors. This questionnaire-based multinational research project investigated the perceptions of 71 primary and secondary school geography textbook authors from seven countries in five continents. Though not intended as a definitive study, the findings identified several values and areas of expertise which many textbook authors in different countries held to be important for their work. While there were variations across country contexts, there was much that was shared by the authors. Authors valued enabling students to develop geographical perspectives, knowledge and skills and informed attitudes about the world when learning in real world contexts and making connections with everyday life. It was notable that the focus of authors on subject knowledge, the pedagogy of textbooks and the students who will use the textbooks aligned with these same key elements which are central to curriculum making. Authors can be said to perceive their role as creating a geography curriculum, albeit externally to any specific geography classroom, through their textbooks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-74
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Textbook
  • curriculum making
  • expertise
  • textbook author


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