Out, Foul Textbook! Are They Going by the Wayside?

My former students can tell you that when I taught Social Studies, we had a textbook funeral on the first day of school. I remember how frightfully bored I was with them (the TEXTBOOKS–not the students!) and found history to be the dreaded subject (“OK, class, we’re going to take turns reading. Each will read a paragraph!”). The parents considered me deranged. My principal backed me up. We instead kept notebooks and added to them throughout the year. My test scores were constantly in the 90’s and students would tell me at the end of the year that they didn’t know history could be so much fun and interesting.

In the latest T.H.E. Journal (Feb. 2009) article Signs of a Significant Disruption in the Traditional Textbook Model, much to my delight, the Indiana State Board of Education issued a papal bull of sorts when they write, “[textbooks] do not provide content that is interesting, engaging and supportive of effective student learning…” On February 6, 2009, it even gets better: “And the board formally expressed its concerns to publishers and asked “for their input and assistance in improving the quality of educational materials they provide.” (author: Geoffrey H. Fletcher).

The article continues to explain that the school board is allowing publishers to redefine “textbook” to include computers and other devices, software, interent, interaction and ‘systematically organized material.’

Virginia is one of the three states listed that is considering textbook materials this way for the higher subject levels.

Celebrate! Click the link above to read the full article and get encouraged about the change for students in the classroom.

UPDATE, 3/15/09: Read the post on EdTech Solutions on this same topic, along with watching a video
clipart source: http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/education-books.shtml