A textbook is a manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study. They are produced according to the demand of educational institutions. Although most textbooks are only published in printed format, many are now available as online electronic books and increasingly in scanned format in P2P networks. Contents [show]
Texts specifically designated for educational purposes were written in ancient Greece. The modern textbook has its roots in the standardization made possible by the printing press. Johannes Gutenberg himself may have printed editions of Ars Minor, a schoolbook on Latin grammar by Aelius Donatus. Early textbooks were used by tutors and teachers, who used the books as instructional aids (e.g., alphabet books), as well as individuals who taught themselves.
Compulsory education and the subsequent growth of schooling in Europe led to the printing of many standardized texts for children. Textbooks have become the primary teaching instrument for most children since the 19th century. Two textbooks of historical significance in United States schooling were the 18th century New England Primer and the 19th century McGuffey Readers.