What’s Your Take on Textbooks?

January 12, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Bud the Teacher wrote a post back in October about his take on the use of textbooks. Read the post and the comments that follow. Along with our class discussion and reading in Subjects Matter, write a comment on Bud’s blog about your thoughts on the topic.

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  1. I believe that the idea of no textbooks is a very progressive thought . It will require work, perseverance and a little risk. The idea of no textbooks may be very real to teachers and even students but I see stumbling blocks. I believe on one side of the argument against is administration and possibly some parents who still believe textbooks are a necessity. On the other side of the argument are the teachers. These are the energized teachers with a vision. They are in the trenches and realize that new and innovative approaches to education are needed. These teachers are the ones who think “outside the box”. Their methods are unique, like a coach trying to win the big game. They are always looking for the an edge to get the job done better. On the other side of the argument is the administration, parents and puiblishers. Education has utilized textbooks for years. Their limitations are known. It may be a radical thought to some to teach our kids without textbooks. Even myself, away from education for a long time is a little hesitant.
    I agree with Bud’s comment that on any given day a different stimulus can be used. One day we use a textbook, on another day we need a guest speaker, on another day we need a pencil and paper. I believe this approach can touch all aspects of literacy a student may need. If we go textbookless, I think there may be confusion or chaos. What one teacher may believe as important another may not. I think there has to be some coalition of teachers to set up a program or framework as a guide for their instruction. I know there are state guidelines but can these set a framework for education without a textbook.I would also be worried that by going without textbooks some teachers will be more proactive than others. If the Internet becomes the textbook, I think teachers must be on the cutting edghe of its use. Blogging may fit in here because there can be a support network established amongst the education world.Teachers would need to do their own homework to known what is out there. I think we need teachers to be innovative and like I said before, think “outside the box”. They need to comes up with ways to get their students to ask why and motivate them to seek the answers.

  2. Mike,
    I agree when you say some teachers will be more proactive than others. I think it really gets to the heart of pedagogy. Teachers who embrace a student-centered environment, employ real-life problems and projects, work in an interdisciplinary manner, and know their students well would probably be in favor of using textbook money in more creative ways. I also feel as teaching experience grows, dependency on a “prescribed” program or textbook series wanes.

    I’d like you to encourage you to copy your comments to Bud’s blog post.

  3. Great Work!
    Considering the fact that I will be doing an extensive research project entitled “What are the implications of textbooks?” to obtain my Master’s Degree in Children’s Literacy, I find this very insightful and very helpful to me. In fact, this is actually the first piece of work that I have found that really zeros in on my topic considering the fact that I am required to research what information already exists about my topic. I may very well use this as a resource. I will keep you posted.

  4. I’ve never tried digital textbooks I usually buy them from a price comparison site like http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com


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