The impact of the readability of educational texts on the effectiveness of teaching in schools
The effectiveness of teaching and learning depends to a large extent on the quality of textbooks used. It is to be guaranteed by the obligatory authorisation of textbook use in schools, described in a relevant ordinance of the Minister of National Education. However, textbooks authorised for use in schools, especially those dealing with specific subjects, are often considered to be very difficult or even bad. This happens, because so far the assessment of readability of educational texts has not always been accurate, as it is necessarily subjective, i.e. without the application of objective and verifiable criteria or methods sanctioned by the ministry. International research has demonstrated a close causal link between specific text parameters and the effectiveness of knowledge acquisition. Empirical studies conducted in Polish schools have confirmed clearly better results of working with a text that has been adapted in its terminology and syntax to apperceptive capabilities of pupils at each stage of the education process. In addition, reading a text better adapted to pupils’ apperceptive capabilities has a positive impact not only on the quantity but also on the retention of processed information. In the final part of the article, drawing on the latest theories of cognitive information processing, the author explains why and to what extent specific parameters of texts influence the effectiveness and durability of knowledge acquisition.