Quality and Relevance of Illustrations in Approved Primary School Textbooks

Keywords: approved primary school textbooks, evaluation, illustrations, Kenya, quality and relevance

Abstract

However, some approved primary school textbooks in Kenya might contain low quality and irrelevant illustrations that inhibit their use. This study sought to evaluate the quality and relevance of illustrations in approved textbooks in Uasin Gishu County in Kenya so as to recommend strategies for determining their preparation and production. The objectives of the study were to establish the criteria for determining the quality and relevance of illustrations, to determine factors contributing to the quality and relevance of illustrations, and to examine challenges faced while dealing with illustrations. The study was guided by the gatekeeping theory. The researchers adopted an exploratory survey design involving 191 respondents. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. The findings established that specific criteria for determining the quality and relevance of illustrations were lacking, and that expertise, time, technology, and printing materials were factors that contributed to the quality and relevance of illustrations. The results revealed that primary schools experienced user-related challenges, and that publishers experienced preparation and production challenges. Vetting and approving authorities’ challenges emanated from the preparation of the illustrations. Important recommendations include that adequate criteria for determining the quality and relevance of illustrations be formulated by the vetting authorities, that the preparation and production of illustrations be given professional attention by the publishers, and that government support textbook development and involvement of subject teachers from all regions in the evaluation panels. The study has implications for decolonising teaching and learning.

Author Biographies

Beatrice J. Kipsat, Moi University
Postgraduate student in the Department of Publishing and Media Studies, School of Information Sciences, Moi University
Daniel Chebutuk Rotich, Moi University
Professor in the Department of Publishing and Media Studies, School of Information Sciences, Moi University and affiliated to University of South Africa (Department of Information Science) as Research Fellow
Duncan O Omanga, Moi University
Lecturer in the Department of Publishing and Media Studies, School of Information Sciences, Moi University
Published
2018-08-20
Section
Articles