PhotoEdit Surveys Students on Textbook Images, Launches New Collection

Posted on 8/21/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Earlier this year PhotoEdit, Inc. surveyed Southern California high-school students to learn their views on the images in their textbooks. Based on the survey results, the company has created a new collection: Images That Teach.

Students were asked eight questions about photos in ten different high-school textbooks. PhotoEdit summarized responses of 284 students in a 22-page PDF document, available free of charge by contacting the company’s content manager Mike Margol via email.

The summary includes select student answers to questions such as, “What are your biggest complaints about the photos in your textbook(s)?” Some of the answers to this question included: “They look too posed.” “They are very old-fashioned looking (outfits, hair, etc.).” “There are not enough pictures of actual people…just cartoons.” “They have nothing to do with some of the curriculum…are unrealistic.”

When asked, “Do you feel you can personally relate to the images in your textbooks?” among the negative answers were: “No, because they are from so long ago. Things have changed since then.” “There is not much diversity in the people.” “The pictures are very old-fashioned looking and hard to take seriously.” “The people have unrealistic emotions, and many circumstances they are put in are too perfect.”

Overall, survey responses are very revealing but not all that surprising. Clearly, from the student point of view, more current pictures of people would make it easier for them to relate to the subject matter. Yet whether publishers will find it within their budgets to pay fees that would guarantee a steady stream of new images and then replace these in each new edition of a book is an entirely different question.

PhotoEdit used the results to create Images That Teach. Consisting of 12 subject-specific galleries, the collection was designed with learning in mind: the images can help students of all ages understand concrete concepts in math, language, science, and other disciplines.

Copyright © 2009 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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