Textbooks for India
I have been an author of educational books since 1975 and currently there are just over 200 of my titles on the market. These are published by Oxford University Press India and Pakistan.
Use the links below to find out more about some of the Primary School textbooks and other educational books that I have written for India.
ART AND CRAFT BOOKS
For many years at Neel Bagh — our school in Karnataka — my mother, Doreen, taught the children art and craft; my wife, Penny, learnt how to make pots on the wheel and taught clay work, and my father and I taught carpentry. When teachers came to Neel Bagh for a term or two to learn about our methods, it was not always possible to introduce them to the whole range of craft activities that were undertaken at the school. I began to put together notes and small projects related to a number of different aspects of art and craft that would help teachers practise many different skills. These projects were stored in a large folder, and added to from time to time.
On my frequent visits to schools during the 80s and 90s, I found that not much work was being done in art and craft. The reason for this was that teachers had never themselves been given any training in these disciplines. I felt that pupils in the elite schools were learning academic subjects but their experience of art and craft, in a nation rich in both, was almost non-existent. Cursory attention was being paid to art — mainly copying a picture from the blackboard; and craft was badly neglected — treated as a vocational subject to be taught only in vocational schools. It was time for me to produce a series of books, which would give both pupils and teachers ideas that they could develop in class. Art and Craft was initially produced by OUP Pakistan (1998), and subsequently in India (2002).
You can flip through a few pages of this one:
A student working on a mural at Neel Bagh school.
ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS FOR INDIA
The market for English textbooks in India is vast. Breaking into and then maintaining this market is not so easy! In the early 1970s, my father, David Horsburgh, who had been writing textbooks for government schools in south India, wrote a series of English readers for Oxford University Press. The series was called Spring Readers, and initially the books did quite well. After the series had been published, schools demanded workbooks; they also wanted more help in the form of exercises and tests. Workbooks were duly produced, and the books were revised, however, the general format of the readers was not changed.
Gradually, apart from a few staunch supporters who continued to use the books into the late 1980s, the books were dropped from the prescription lists of many schools.
In the early 1980s, Oxford University Press asked my father to write a fresh series of textbooks more geared to market demands. He was to write the readers and I was to produce the workbooks. We began work on the new series – Modern English - sometime in 1983, but in 1984 my father fell ill. He died on August 8, 1984. He had completed the first two books and part of the third by the time of his death, so I took up the challenge and worked on the rest of the series by myself.
Modern English is a series of ten readers and ten workbooks, along with a Teacher’s Guide for each level. It was completed shortly after my departure from India in July 1987.
In 1989, and in subsequent years, I toured India on many occasions to promote the books and to run workshops for teachers. In due course, special editions of Modern English were produced for the North Eastern States. Other series of English textbooks followed.
"New Oxford Modern English has established itself as one of the most popular ELT courses among both teachers and students for almost three decades. Taking into account the insightful feedback of its users, the series has been revised regularly to address the evolving needs of the learners.
● a wide range of literary genres and themes with new prose lessons and poems
● enhanced glossary and updated wordlists
● engaging posters illustrating different literary devices
● Marcia Williams' simplified and illustrated retellings of Shakespeare's plays
● graphic stories
● enhanced digital content (warm-ups, worksheets, games, animations and audio)
This revised edition includes a host of new features for its users. The series comprises Primers A and B with Primer B Activity Book, Coursebooks 1–8, Workbooks 1–8, Teacher's Resource Packs, Oxford Areal, and Oxford Educate with an accompanying Test Generator." OUP
The Fifth Edition of New Oxford Modern English - Revised Edition is available now.
Authors: Nicholas Horsburgh, David Horsburgh and Claire Horsburgh
SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS FOR INDIA
Having written a number of English textbooks and having conducted a number of workshops and seminars on the teaching of English, I eventually became known in India as an ELT person. My experience at the school started by my parents in Karnataka - Neel Bagh – however, was in teaching many subjects at different levels, from kindergarten to BA. I devoted much energy to developing materials in all subjects, and science was one of them.
The first science course I worked on was for Oxford University Press, Pakistan. The OUP branch in Delhi was also interested in marketing my science books in India, but in order not to confuse schools and teachers, they asked that I write these under a penname. Integrated Primary Science (IPS) by Lester Davidson was born. Lester is my middle name, and I am David’s son, so the choice of name was appropriate.
IPS for the Indian market was produced in 1993. It was revised in 2000, becoming New Integrated Primary Science (NIPS). It was revised again in 2009 and in 2019. The series consists of six Course Books and six Teacher’s Books.
The new edition aims to make learning science an enjoyable and active experience.
Profusely illustrated: Complete new set of illustrations
Activities and Projects: Hands-on activities and experiments
Teacher’s Notes: Suggest creative ways to explain concepts
Revision Exercises: Comprehensive exercises at the end of every unit
Test Papers: Practice papers at the end of the book
Think about it! Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS) questions
Fun Pages: Simple fun-filled worksheets after each unit
Know More: Interesting concepts related snippets
Short biographies: Brief insights into the lives and achievements of great scientists
Environment Watch: Interesting snippets and tips to evoke awareness on environment-related issues
Recall: At the beginning of the chapter to recall the related concepts learnt in the previous classes
Introductory exercises: Chapter opening illustrations as interactive warm-ups, develop a range of scientific skills through a variety of questions graded under:
Observe and Write: Observation and interpretation-based exercises
Draw and Describe: Drawing and picture-based exercises
Think and Answer: Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions
Apply and Answer: Application-based questions
Discuss and Answer: Probing discussion questions for collaboration
Concept Check: In-text exercise after every major topic
Word Study: Dictionary meaning of difficult words
Myths vs Fact: Alerts to commonly held misconceptions
Key Words: Definitions of important scientific terms
Recap: Quick recap of the chapter in the form of a child friendly infographic
SOCIAL STUDIES FOR INDIA
Writing Social Studies books for schools in India is no easy task. In the first two years of school pupils study Environmental Studies — a mixture of topics based on the environment, society, health, civics, religion, civics and science. This leads on to Social Studies in years 3, 4 and 5, where the topics are related to History and Geography. Publishers find it difficult to produce books, especially for Grade 3, which are particularly relevant to a specific region. The Grade 3 syllabus states that the material to be studied, for Geography in particular, should be related to the child’s immediate environment; in other words, the pupils must learn about their own state or geographical region.
In 1983, I produced a series called Looking At Life. The textbook for Grade 3 was introduced by two children, a boy and a girl, who travelled around the country, thereby educating the readers to all the states of the nation!
Looking At Life was produced under the name of Rupert Hayward and Nicholas Horsburgh. Rupert Hayward was the name of my grandmother’s brother, and he took no part in writing the books as he died many years before I was born! The New World series was produced under the name of Neil Gardner (a joke: Neil = Neel; and Gardner is from Garden = Bagh. Neel Bagh was the name of the school we ran).
Here is a small sample of the books
You can flip through a few pages of this one:
For details of the whole output of Social Studies/Environmental Studies textbooks for India, contact me.
Social Studies for India
Looking At Life, 1983
EVS/Kannada Edition, 1986
New World, 1990
EVS for Gujarat, 1994