Textbooks are an invention of the early modern period and reflect the emergence of the new technology of the book, as well as the realization that children have separate needs and lives from adults. Over the years, textbooks have covered more and more subjects, and they have become increasingly subject to controversy. This entry looks at the history of textbooks, particularly in the United States, and examines some of the more recent and powerful controversies.

Early Texts

Although catechisms were common by the end of the sixteenth century, the first modern textbook is widely recognized as being lohn Amos Comenius's Orbis Sensualium Pictus. The Orbis Pictus was approximately 400 pages, with an illustrated text, originally published in both Czech and Latin. It literally had as its ...

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