627 R1 – Instructional Materials: Selection
A. Definition. The term “instructional materials” includes printed materials and multi-media materials and shall include materials used in the classroom and available in the libraries.
B. Philosophy. Committees may be appointed by the administrative staff to make recommendations for the selection of instructional materials. The administrative staff shall advise the committee members of the following philosophy:
Freedom of inquiry is vital to education in a democracy. Bear in mind when recommending materials of the freedom to learn, to read, and to make inquiry. Base your recommendations on these broad principles.
Study thoroughly all materials referred to you and read available reviews of the materials. The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and local holdings in schools.
Passages or parts of the materials should not be pulled out of context. The positives and negatives of the materials should be weighed and recommendations should be based on the materials as a whole.
C. Guidelines. The selection of instructional materials shall meet the criteria as adopted by the Board and stated in Policy Code No. 627. In applying these guidelines, the following shall be considered:
1. Instructional materials should further the District’s statement of philosophy, goals and objectives as stated in Board policy.
2. Instructional materials touching on controversial issues will be directed towards maintaining a balanced collection representing various viewpoints. The selection of instructional materials should be made on the basis of whether the material presents an accurate representation of society and culture, whether the circumstances depicted are realistically portrayed, and whether the material has literary or social value when the material is viewed as a whole. This does not preclude selection of materials that accurately represent customs, morals, manners, culture or society of a different time or of a different place.
3. Instructional materials should as a whole reflect the diversity of groups in America by portraying both males and females and various ethnic, racial, religious and social groups, persons of varying ages, and persons with disabilities as contributing members of their communities in art, science, history, literature, families, and in all other fields of life and culture, displaying a familiar range of emotions, having individual aspirations and opportunities, and showing them in positions of leadership and authority.
4. Material should present the diversity of ethnic, racial, religious and social groups as a positive aspect of the nation’s heritage and give candid treatment to unresolved intercultural issues, including those which involve prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping and that have undesirable consequences of withholding rights and respect for individuals.
5. The author’s qualifications by education and experience shall be considered.
6. The accuracy and currency of the information and content shall be considered, including recent and authoritative peer-reviewed research.
7. The appropriateness of the vocabulary, considering the age and maturity level of the students and consideration of whether the vocabulary furthers tolerance of the diversity of society.
8. The potential use and purpose of the materials should be considered. For example,
a. Will it serve as a source of information for teachers and librarians?
b. Will if meet the requirements for a reference work?
c. Will it be used to offer an understanding of cultures other than the student’s own?
d. Will it be used to assist students with deal with personal problems and adjustments?
e. Will it expand students; sphere of understanding and help them understand the ideas and beliefs of others?
f. Will it be utilized to assist teachers and students stay abreast of current issues?
g. Will it foster hobbies and special interests of students?
h. Will it assist students to develop aesthetic tastes, interests, and appreciation?
i. Will it serve the needs of students with special needs?
j. Does it inspire student to make further inquiries?
k. Will it foster a lifelong interest in learning?
9. The format of the instructional materials shall be considered.
i. Adequate and accurate index;
ii. Paper of good quality and color;
iii. Print adequate and well-spaced;
iv. Adequate margins;
v. Firmly bound;
vi. Value for the price.
b. Other materials
i. Flexibility; adaptability;
ii. Good production qualities;
iii. Well-organized for ease of use;
v. Value for the price.
i. Pertinent and effective illustrations;
ii. Depicts instances of integrated groupings and setting to indicate equal status and nonsegregated social relationships.
d. Special features
i. Adequate and accurate indices;
ii. Adequate and accurate bibliographies;
iii. Adequate and accurate glossaries;
iv. Current charts, maps, and graphs;
v. Appropriate visual aids;
vi. Activities and exercises to stimulate and challenge students;
vii. Provides a variety of learning activities, emphasizing multiple skills, higher order thinking skills, and exploratory activities.
viii. Provides flexibility for the instructors to use parts as a time rather than a rigid frame of reference.
Adopted: February 6, 2012
URBANDALE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS