The pages of this book illustrate that as instruments of socialization and sites of ideological discourse textbooks are powerful artefacts in
introducing young people to a specific historical, cultural and socioeconomic order. Crucially, exploring the social construction of school
textbooks and the messages they impart provides an important context from within which to critically investigate the dynamics underlying
the cultural politics of education and the social movements that form it and which are formed by it.
The school curriculum is essentially the knowledge system of a society incorporating its values and its dominant ideology. The curriculum is
not "our knowledge" born of a broad hegemonic consensus, rather it is a battleground in which cultural authority and the right to define what
is labelled legitimate knowledge is fought over. As each chapter in this book illustrates curriculum as theory and practice has never been, and
can never be, divorced from the ethical, economic, political, and cultural conflicts of society which impact so deeply upon it. We cannot
escape the clear implication that questions about what knowledge is of most worth and about how it should be organized and taught are problematic,
contentious and very serious.