Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Textbook Manifesto

Textbooks are the devil, textbooks drive students away from true learning, and textbooks are a waste of money. Teachers use textbooks because they're already there, they're easy, they don't force the teacher to actually have the background knowledge, and they're usually standards based. Textbooks are a cop out, they make the job of a teacher easier, and if a teacher uses them they'll be considered a good teacher.

Textbooks are like a lot of other things the schools want teachers to use. Textbooks are ridiculous, out of touch, and are one of the main things that drive students away from learning. I still have yet to see a textbook that is effective in any way.

A textbook should be a tool for learning, a resource, much like an encyclopedia or wikipedia. It is not the curriculum, the sooner teachers realize that, the sooner children will actually start learning. Until then, it's long live the textbook culture, and the 50% dropout rate. Let's keep patting ourselves on the back and ignore the problem.