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When teachers select textbooks for adoption, it is crucial to select the textbooks which textual materials meets the needs and interests of students. In this textbook evaluation, the author review and critique three different 9th grade Buddhism textbooks for World History I.
The textbooks are evaluated by using four different formulas to determine the readability level for each of the textbooks. This report will provide the findings recorded for each textbook, and will indicate which textbook was found to be the most suitable for a 9th grade World History I.
The Fry Graph formula Edward Fry developed the Fry Graph formula, which is the most popular formula use to evaluation textbook. In 1968, Fry developed readability tests based on a graph. This graph-based test determined textbooks readability through high school. Then, the formula was validated with materials from primary and secondary schools. Fry extended the graph to primary levels in 1969. Then, in his book Elementary Reading Instruction, he extended the graph to test through the college years in 1977.
The Fry formula’s evaluation consists of the selection of three passages; two 100 words passages from the beginning of the textbook, and one 100 words passage from the end of the textbook. The number of sentences in each passage were counted and averaged. To determine the Fry’s readability of the textbook, the syllables in each of the 100 words passages were counted and averaged (Richardson, Morgan, & Fleener, 2012). The SMOG formula SMOG Readability Formula was created in 1969 by McLaughlin. He introduced the formula in an article called, SMOG Grading – A New Readability Formula in the Journal of Reading.
The SMOG Readability Formula estimates the level of education a person needs to comprehend the language of the writing. The SMOG requires the use of three different 10 sentence passages; two passages from the beginning of the textbook, and one passage from the end of the textbook. All words with three or more syllables were counted, and the square root of the total number of syllables was determined. To determine the SMOG readability level of the textbook; (after the square root of the syllables was determined) three was added to the square root (Richardson, Morgan, & Fleener, 2012).
The Flesch-Kincaid grade level formula The Flesch Reading Ease Formula is considered one of the most accurate readability formulas. Rudolph Flesch, developed this formula in 1948, to determining the readability statistics. Flesch proposed the formula in 1948, in his article, A New Readability Yardstick, published in the Journal of Applied. Latter, the formula was program and the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level score formula was created with the use of technology. The Flesch-Kincaid grading scale requires the selection of five passages, from five different parts of the textbook.
The passages were typed in to the Microsoft Word program to determent the textbook readability. The Microsoft Word program automatically determined the readability statistics of the textbook (Richardson, Morgan, & Fleener, 2012). Bader’s textbook analysis evaluation chart Bader’s textbook analysis chart was created in 1987, and it evaluates areas which focus on the instructional concerns of teachers. Moreover, the Bader textbook analysis evaluation chart, evaluates textbooks learning features, which could best enable students learning in the classroom.
This chart provides more specific areas of textbook analysis as: linguistic, organizational, writing style, earning aids, teaching aids, format, and illustrations. This analysis not only provided a readability evaluation, but it also provided an evaluation based on relevance (Richardson, Morgan, & Fleener, 2012). Teachings of the Buddha Grade: Varies Poetry Anthology: Teachings of the Buddha Grade: Varies Poetry Anthology was evaluated using all four evaluation methods. The poems differ in grade levels between the Editor’s Preface and the poems. The Flesch-Kincaid grade scale determent a grade level of 8. in the Editor’s Preface. However, using the Flesch-Kincaid grade scale on a small sample of poems, the levels ranges from 2. 2 to 6. 5 and 7. 9 (depending on the poem). According to Bader’s Textbook Analysis, Teachings of the Buddha’s readability level for linguistic factors and writing style are average. Some passages introduce unfamiliar vocabulary words.
Conceptual factors range from excellent to average. Each passage is about a main idea, and each passage develops its own main idea. Organization and format are hard to analyze because the book s made up of passages from different authors and time periods; each passage is organized in a different way. (See figure 1) Buddha Stories Grade: 5 Moral Tales Buddha Stories Grade: 5 Moral Tales was evaluated using all four evaluation methods. According to the Fry readability graph, this book is at the 5th grade reading level. According to Bader’s Textbook Analysis, Buddha Stories is an excellent source. Linguistically, it uses easily decodable words with familiar vocabulary. Conceptually, each story presents one idea and develops it. The writing style is clear yet captivating.
The format of the book also includes pictures that complement each story and provide examples of Buddhist art. (See figure 2) Introducing Buddha Introducing Buddha was evaluated using all four evaluation methods. The Flesch-Kincaid grade scale put this book at grade level 10; because there are a few words that would need to be explained to students before reading the book. However, according to the Fry graph, this book is in the 14th grade level range. This maybe because the stories’ sentences are long, and contains certain words that are used over and over again (like Buddhism) have multiple syllables.
Using Bader’s Textbook Analysis Chart, Introducing Buddha received excellent scores in the areas of Conceptual factors, organizational factors, writing style and format. (See figure 3) Conclusion Upon evaluation of all three textbooks, Introducing Buddha has been chosen as the 9th Buddhism textbooks for World History I. This book presents Buddhism from its beginning to today in a way that is understandable to students without a lot of prior background knowledge. The Buddhist concepts are developed through both words and pictures.
The chapters are clearly labeled, so the reader knows what each one is about. The writing style of the author is very straightforward, and most of the words should be recognizable by the students (except for some Buddhist words which will be defined before reading). The book is an appropriate size and includes plenty of illustrations to aid the student in learning. Students will be able to glean information both from the written words and the pictures within the book. This text could be used either inside or outside the classroom, depending on the reading levels of the students in my classroom.
Students could be assigned different chapters to read (about Siddhartha’s life, the beginning of Buddhism, the spread of Buddhism and his teachings) and then summarize the chapters to the rest of the class. This would be a good text for the Assistance stage of PAR because it allows students to build comprehension about Buddhism. It would also be good to use a KWL chart with this text because students can learn a lot about Buddhism very easily from this text. In the Bader’s chart the textbook rate four excellent marks and three average marks in this area.
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