Making Textbook content inclusive: A focus on Religion, Gender, and Culture

A classroom with students, focus on a girl holding a notebook
Textbook development policies, research approaches, and guidelines are now embedded in a broader and deeper definition of quality education that emphasizes the importance of learning to live together on the basis of respect for diversity. This vision of education is at the very heart of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.
The pioneering efforts of UNESCO and its partners to improve the quality of textbooks around the world have resulted in significant progress. With few exceptions, textbooks no longer function openly as tools of propaganda or as incitements to violence. Nevertheless, a growing body of international research on school textbooks has uncovered numerous, sometimes subtle, elements of texts that continue to nurture the formation of stereotypes that might fuel discrimination and exclusion. The challenge is to ensure that school textbooks endorsed by educational systems contribute to countering all biased, incomplete, and inaccurate representations of peoples and societies. The guide aims to help to put an end to harmful stereotypes and assist all actors involved in textbook production, from design to use, in adopting new inclusive approaches and practices based on equality and respect for diversity.
textbooks, bias, inclusion in education
Marginalized & Vulnerable group:
Socially & Economically excluded groups
Inclusive Pedagogy & Practices
Level of Education:
Across the education sector
Type of Resources:
Guidelines and Tools
All, Africa, Arab States, Asia & the Pacific, Europe & North America, Latin America & the Caribbean
Language of Publication:
English, French, Spanish