Friday, 1 May 2009

Thoughts on textbooks

On Larry Ferlazzo's recommendation (via blog, of course), I just read the article
A Textbook Example of What's Wrong with Education, which paints a grim picture of the industry behind textbooks in the US. I cannot say whether or not the publishing houses here in Norway work in similar ways. Either way, I think what the writer of the article, Tamim Ansary, says about the significance of textbooks is fairly universal: Textbooks are a core part of the curriculum, as crucial to the teacher as a blueprint is to a carpenter, so one might assume they are conceived, researched, written, and published as unique contributions to advancing knowledge. (Read the complete article here:
A Textbook Example of What's Wrong with Education)
During my first year as a teacher I was completely dependent on the textbook. In fact, I think about 99 percent of the material I used in class was taken from the book. The past two years, however, I have taught English without a textbook. I often rely on the websites of established publishing houses, like and, but I take texts and resources from a number of places and one single publishing house no longer dictates what I teach. Next schoolyear my class will have a textbook, but this is only going to be one of the many sources we use. For useful tips on how to work without a textbook, see: How to Toss the Text Personally, I think the secret behind finding good resources is cooperation between teachers. Share what you've got!

1 comment:

  1. In this era of web 2.0, we easily get nice & updated information for research purposes... I'd definitely appreciate the work of the said blog owner... Thanks!

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