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A new publication providing news and reviews of elementary- and secondary-school history and social-studies textbooks made its debut this summer.

According to an editorial statement, Social Studies Review seeks to ''improve instructional materials and the curriculum through candid, expert assessment of what is good and what is bad in the field" of textbook selection.

The journal will be published quarterly by the American Textbook Council, a national consortium established in 1988 to advance the quality of social-studies textbooks and instructional materials.

The council's director, Gilbert T. Sewall, will also serve as editor of the new publication. Mr. Sewall is author of the 1987 report American History Textbooks: An Assessment of Quality.

Articles in the journal's inaugural issue include an examination of a controversial textbook-adoption bill in California, a review of "skills" teaching in elementary-level texts, and an update on readability formulas.

Subscriptions to Social Studies Review--to run approximately 12 pages per issue--are available at no charge from the American Textbook Council, 475 Riverside Dr., Room 916, New York, N.Y. 10115.


Another new publication, Debates on Education Issues, will be dedicated, in the words of its editor, to broadening the "intellectual options researched and debated about education and youth issues."

Published by Debates in Education, a new special-interest group of the American Educational Research Association, and Character, a nonprofit corporation, the newsletter will in each issue present opposing views of a controversial topic in education. (See Education Week, April 5, 1989).

The premier issue contains a "statement of principles" by the special-interest group and the text of an address by the researcher James S. Coleman urging the education-research community not to "erect norms against research that challenges the conventional wisdom."

According to the editor, Edward A. Wynne, professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, future issues of the eight-page publication will feature debates on egalitarianism in education, preschool education, and humanistic psychology in education.

Subscriptions to the bimonthly publication are $10 for one year or $17 for two years. Aera members who join the new group may subscribe for half price.

To order a subscription, write: Jacques Benninga, Education, California State University, Fresno, Calif. 93740-0002.

Potential authors should contact: Edward A. Wynne, College of Education (M/C 147), University of Illinois at Chicago, Box 4348, Chicago, Ill. 60680.


Scholastic Inc., one of the nation's largest educational publishing companies, recently acquired Instructor magazine from Edgell Communications Inc.

The addition of Instructor "will round out our company's broad line of magazines serving professional educators," said Richard Robinson, president and chief executive officer of Scholastic.

Established in 1891, Instructor features articles and classroom materials for kindergarten through 8th-grade teachers.

The company's publications for precollegiate educators also include Pre-K Today, Scholastic Coach, Teaching and Computers, and Electronic Learning.

Edgell, a Cleveland-based publisher of magazines aimed at professionals in a variety of fields, had purchased Instructor from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1987.

Scholastic assumed publication of the magazine--which appears nine times a year--with the August issue.


A booklet designed to help parents, teachers, and counselors understand children's behavior has been published by the American Association of School Administrators.

Parenting Skills: Bringing Out the Best in Your Child briefly discusses the stages of child development from birth through adolescence and outlines strategies for reinforcing the growth of such qualities and skills as independence, self-discipline, self-confidence, communication, and cooperation with others.

The 28-page booklet can be ordered at $2.50 for single copies or at bulk-discount rates from aasa Publications, 1801 North Moore St., Arlington, Va. 22209-9988; (703) 528-0700.


And four new booklets published by the International Reading Association provide tips for parents in helping their children learn to read and write.

Ranging from 16 to 24 pages in length, the publications include You Can Help Your Young Child With Writing by Marcia Baghban (ira book no. 160); How Can I Prepare My Young Child for Reading? by Paula C. Grinnell (ira book no. 163); Helping Your Child Become a Reader by Nancy L. Roser (ira book no. 161); and You Can Encourage Your High School Student To Read by Jamie Myers (ira book no. 162).

Single copies of the booklets can be ordered for $1.75 each from the ira, 800 Barksdale Rd., P.O. Box 8139, Newark, Del. 19714-8139; specify title and publication number when ordering.


Annotated bibliographies of recent children's trade books in social studies and science are available from the Children's Book Council.

"Notable 1988 Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies," a project of the National Council for the Social Studies and the c.b.c. Joint Committee, originally appeared in the April/May issue of Social Education.

The eight-page pamphlet briefly describes approximately 120 titles written primarily for children in kindergarten through 8th grade.

"Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children in 1988," reprinted from the March issue of Science and Children, was prepared by the National Science Teachers Association and the c.b.c.

The pamphlet lists approximately 100 titles and, like its counterpart, includes information on appropriate reading levels and current prices.

Single copies of each bibliography can be obtained at no charge by enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope with orders; bulk rates are 75 cents each for 5 to 20 copies and 60 cents each for 21 or more copies. Prepaid orders should be addressed to: Children's Book Council, 67 Irving Place, P.O. Box 706, New York, N.Y. 10276-0706.


The Library of Congress has published a new edition of its guide to national organizations that promote books and reading, administer literacy projects, and encourage the study of books.

The Community of the Book: A Directory of Selected Organizations and Programs describes activities and provides information about publications and sources of support for approximately 100 organizations.

The 140-page directory can be ordered for $10.95, prepaid, from the Publishing Office, Box J, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540.


The American Library Association is inviting applications for a $10,000 award given annually to an a.l.a. member who proposes "innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library service to a particular group of people."

The Carroll Preston Baber Grant, established three years ago, is the largest of the association's annual awards.

Applications are due by March 1, 1990; the winner of the grant will be announced at the a.l.a.'s annual conference next June.

A packet of guidelines and application materials are available from the Office for Research, American Library Association, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.--jw & lc

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