Analysis of Visuals in Political Science Textbooks to Identify its Role in Encouraging Higher Order Thinking in Students


Visuals, including photographs, sketches, and schematic diagrams, are a valuable aspect of textbooks. Visuals in the textbook attract attention and help in the retention of information. It also enhances understanding and creates a context for learning. Schools are also emphasizing ‘higher-order thinking (HOT)’, rather than memorization of a cannon of topics. HOT occurs when a person takes new information and interrelates and/or rearranges and extends this information to achieve a purpose.
This study identifies and analyses the role of visuals in political science textbooks in encouraging HOT in students. This study is based on the textbooks of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for classes 6–10.
On the basis of their relationship with the content, visuals were categorized as Interactive (physical interaction with the visual), Promptive (thought-provoking questions asked on the visual), Representative (visuals supporting text), Antecedent (visuals explained in text), Nested (layers of information in one visual), Intersecting (no explicit relation between visual and text). Of these categories, Interactive, Promptive, Antecedent, and Intersecting visuals are tools for HOT with different levels of complexity. The overall percentage of visuals that encourage HOT is 48.37% (39.3% photos; 54.9% illustrations). The highest percentage of HOT encouraging visuals were found in class 7th (70.73%). Interactive visuals were found to be higher in class 6th and 7th. Promptive visuals were highest in class 8. Antecedent and Intersecting visuals, though their level of complexity is high, were found to be higher in class 6th and 7th as compared to 9th and 10th.

Author Information
Pallavi Ekka, Publicis Sapient, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2019
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the ACE2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon