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Explicit Instruction in United States History Textbooks Exercises: The Role of Exercises in Navigating and Critically Evaluating Textbooks
AuthorBoone, Paul T.
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Textbooks dominate history classrooms. Research finds that textbooks contain debatable interpretations and omit significant historical accounts. Researchers recommend the explicit instruction in learning strategies to help students to navigate and critically evaluate textbooks. The limited amount of research into exercises suggests textbooks encourage a passive learning approach asking students to be recorders of textbook knowledge. This thesis investigated exercises for the inclusion of research-based explicit instruction practices using Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and Explicit Instruction Practice categories as analytical tools. Explicit instruction practices were found in 22.5% of the exercises. While the majority of these exercises were lower-order thinking items, higher-order thinking exercises were more prominent than they were in the results for all exercises. The inclusion of explicit instruction practices in exercises seems to point to a means to increase the availability of higher-order thinking tasks in textbooks.