This study is aimed at analyzing instructional design embedded in social studies textbooks based on student-centered approach. It mainly employed literature review and interviews with experts, editors, and teachers, to identify six characteristics of the student-centered approach. Using the six characteristics as criteria, content analysis was conducted on three series of social studies textbooks and student workbooks. Positive and non-positive cases of instructional design in textbooks were identified with student-centered approach and reported. The main findings are as follows. 1) The coverage of the six characteristics of student-centered approach in the three series of textbooks was found to be quite low and no significantly difference among them. 2) The six characteristics of student-centered approach found that “meeting student learning levels”, “stimulating student interest in learning” and “connecting with student life experience” appeared more than “constructing learning contexts”, “employing multiple learning media” and “leading into self-directed learning”.