What Developmental Editors Bring to Educational Publishing
A colleague this week (in January 2014) asked about what market-related skills editors need to have for educational publishers. Because this is a question I often here, here is my response.
In addition to knowledge of pedagogy (teaching theory and methods), theories of learning, reading level and how to adjust it, and curriculum expectations (all which my colleague mentioned), developmental editors of educational materials need (or need to be quick studies about) the following:
- bias issues and specific sensitivities for certain markets and/or subject areas
- the competition—what has been done by other publishers and in other publications, what might be done, etc.
- classroom realities as they compare with what curriculum documents might wish for
- visuals—e.g., how to develop the art ms. for maps and diagrams and check them for approval
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would say that developmental editors in this area are often called on to assess what strengths the hired authors bring to the task and compensate in any way necessary and do so diplomatically. For example, some subject experts, classroom teachers, and curriculum specialists can write to a template well and quickly; others might have strength in generating ideas but not executing the writing, or they have might have more experience with activities but less with other aspects of the publication.
Any more questions? Send them, please!