We believe that not all materials help to develop autonomy. There are some aspects such as the internal character of the materials and the situation in which they will be used. It will also depend on the students’ background, the teacher management and the context where the class is being taught.
Do materials truly involve problem solving?
Not always. According to the author some materials claim to promote problem solving, but it has been proved that when analyzing those materials only a few really involve mental operations.
Are they truly learner centered?
No, they are not. Because most of the tasks involve the learners’ responding and working with contents supplied by the materials.
“Analyzing materials” is related to defining their nature, what is required from users and what is implied by their use whereas “materials in action” refers to how the materials are brought into use in the classroom.
Tasks as workplans: frame for leaning and teaching opportunities offered to teachers and learners.
Tasks in process: when teachers and learners bring their own personal contributions.
Tasks as outcomes: the learning that might derive from their use.
Please expand on the following questions:
a) What aspects of materials should be examined?
Publication and Design Publications relates to the “tangible” aspects of materials such as published form of the learner’s materials, continuity, route, etc. While design refers to the thinking underlying the materials (aims, principles of selection, principles of sequencing, etc.)
b) How can we examine materials?
When examining materials we must go from the most objective (physical aspects of the materials) or Level 1, then through deductions about the demands likely to be made of teachers and learners or Level 2, and then in Level 3 we find the conclusions about the apparent underlying principles and “philosophy” of the materials.
c) How can we relate the findings to our own...