The Georg Eckert Institute has presented the Textbook of the Year award annually since 2012. Through this award the Institute recognises and honours publishers and authors who have developed and implemented innovative textbook concepts and intends that the award should serve as a stimulus to wider debates on the subject of textbooks as well as raise awareness of the social significance of textbooks and advance the continuous development of educational materials. The award is under the patronage of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the German Länder.
Awards are conferred on one publication each from three categories. Successful candidates are those deemed to be outstanding contemporary textbooks that demonstrate bold and innovative content choice, didactic methodologies and design as well as those that are able to satisfactorily meet demanding educational standards and offer a skill-centred approach to learning. Textbooks for primary schools, lower secondary schools and upper secondary schools are targeted in turn in a three-year cycle. The winning publications are determined during a two-step process involving a jury of experts from both academia and educational practice.