Instructional materials are highly important for teaching, especially for inexperienced teachers. Teachers rely on instructional materials in every aspect of teaching. They need materials for background information on the subject they are teaching. Young teachers usually have not built up their expertise whenever they enter into the field. Teachers often use instructional materials for lesson planning. These materials are also needed by teachers to assess the knowledge of their students. Teachers often assess students by assigning tasks, creating projects, and administering exams. Instructional materials are essential for all of these activities.
Because students spend a significant amount of their classroom time using instructional materials and because of the large variety of available materials, both print and nonprint, it is crucial that all materials be thoroughly evaluated.
Instructional materials shall be evaluated and selected according to specified procedures by qualified certified staff to ensure that the materials in the educational structure support the curriculum and meet the diverse needs of students. The instructional materials selected must be age and grade appropriate and must contribute to, and be aligned with, the curriculum and competencies.
Instructional materials are print and non-print items that are designed to impart information to students in the educational process. Instructional materials include items such as kits, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, pictures, recordings, slides, transparencies, videos, video discs, workbooks, and electronic media including but not limited to music, movies, radio, software, CD-ROMs, and online services.
Library books are literary works, narratives, and other texts that are selected for research or use but not used for guided or directed instruction.
Instructional staff shall consider the following factors in the selection evaluation and use of instructional materials:
• Directly support student achievement
• Impact on instructional time
• Age/grade appropriateness
Criteria for Selection
Instructional materials selected should:
1. Support achievement of the content standards of the Learning Results;
2. Support the goals and objectives of the educational programs;
3. Enrich and support the curriculum;
4. Take into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served
5. Foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and varied opinions;
6. Give comprehensive, accurate and balanced representation to minorities and women in history, science, leadership and the arts and acknowledge the contributions of ethnic, religious and cultural groups to our American heritage;
7. Present a balance of opposing sides of controversial issues to enable students to develop a capability for critical analysis;
8. Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards;
9. Provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent decisions in their daily lives; and
Other factors that should be considered are accuracy and currency of material; importance of the subject matter; scholarship; quality of writing and production; and reputation and significance of the author, artist or composer. In evaluating software, multimedia materials and online/Internet resources, additional factors that should be considered include purpose for use; content; format (degree of interactivity or student involvement); appropriate use of graphics, sound and animation; feedback provided; and ease of use.