Monday, October 27, 2008

Topic: The Role of Textbooks in Teaching

10-second review: Textbooks are tools, not crutches.

Title: “Textbooks and the Evolution of the Discipline [of Writing].” RJ Connors. College Composition and Communication (May 1986), 178-194. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Comment: Just a reminder that teachers need to think about how to incorporate the textbook into their teaching. As a student, I have purchased expensive textbooks that were rarely if ever used by the teacher—a waste of valuable money. I have also purchased textbooks that were the course; the teacher’s lectures were irrelevant to the tests. You had to figure that out. The teachers never told you.

Did the teacher think about how to incorporate the textbook into the course? Why was the textbook chosen? Ever think to tell the students why it was chosen? Did the teacher explain to the students how to use the textbook to help them learn the ideas in the course? What does the textbook do that the teacher doesn’t?

Most college students sell their textbooks after the course because they have little value to them. Perhaps that would not be so if teachers thought about the role of the textbook in their courses. RayS.

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