Sunday, February 17, 2019

What's the deal with textbooks?

Editor's note:
Here at Markham's Behavioral Health we are interested in education, how people learn, the function of education in society, how it constributes to human development etc.

In 1986, my ex wife, Angela, and I started homeschooling four of our nine children. One of the big things I learned was the great variability in textbooks, how they are chosen by school districts, how teachers use them in their classrooms etc. I learned that some textbooks are very helpful in learning about a subject and some are garbage, yes, I wrote "garbage."

After the first year of homeschooling, I no longer used the text books used by the school district because of their inadequacies. Choosing curriculum materials back in 1986 is a completely different activity with the expansion of the ecology of curriculum materials now available with the internet.

If you are a parent, or a student yourself, the first very illuminating activity is to compare curriculum materials you can choose to study any given subject. The power to choose curriculum materials seems to me to be a major professional responsibility of teachers which, for the most part, is denied them by school boards, state ed departments, etc.

If students are to take responsibility for their own learning, the first step is choosing their curriculum materials wisely.

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