Is the emerging digital multimedia culture of today transforming the textbook or forever displacing it? As new media of transmission enter the classroom, the traditional textbook is now caught up in a dialogue reshaping the textual boundaries of the book, and with it the traditional modes of cognition and learning, which are bound more to language than to visual form. Most of the important work in the past two decades in the field of curriculum has focused on the culture of the textbook. A rich literature has evolved around textbooks as the traditional object of instructional activity. This volume is an important contribution to this literature, which focuses on the actual making of a textbook. This design process serves as a metaphor that suggests new paradigms of learning and instruction, in which text content is but one component in a multidimensional information space.The Visual Turn is an exploration along the border of this new learning space transforming the traditional center of instruction in the classroom.
"…this is a thought-provoking book, and the questions it rises merit careful consideration and further research attention."
—British Journal of Educational Psychology
"The first book I know of that tries to show the transition from the modern to the postmodern textbook. The basic idea of going at how the computer is transforming the textbook and our modes of literacy is very interesting and important."
—Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.
University of Miami
"…Interesting on several levels. The [Houghton Mifflin K-8 social studies textbook series] around which the author wraps his book has generated a good deal of drama….LaSpina recognizes these aspects of the text's publication and selection in California and the subsequent controversy, then shifts the reader's focus away from the politics of publication to the 'visual turn' of the text….A one-of-a-kind book…"
—Linda S. Levstik
University of Kentucky
Contents: Introduction: Turning a Textbook Controversy on Its Head. Social Studies for the 21st Century. When Images Meet Words. Making the Beautiful Book. A Beautiful Book or "Considerate" Text. A Different Model of Reading. History as Our Best Guess. A Window in the Text. Face-to-Face or Interface: Social Studies in Cyberspace.