Textbooks

Textbooks_Library400 The reading of books, what is it but conversing with the wisest men of all ages and all countries, who thereby communicate to us their most deliberate thoughts, choicest notions, and best intentions, couched in good expression, and digested in exact method – Isaac Barrow

Alex Quigley recently wrote a thought-provoking blog, in which he gave ten reasons why he does not use textbooks. This was partly a response to a speech given by former education minister Liz Truss earlier this year titled In defence of the textbook. The title of Truss’ speech is indicative of a growing feeling among teachers that the use of textbooks is something that they need to apologise for. It reflects an educational culture where textbooks are only sneaked out of the classroom cupboard when the door is firmly shut and no one will walk in on such an embarrassing secret. Their marginalisation has undoubtedly been driven in part by Ofsted’s demands for differentiation, ‘buzz’ and generally greater levels of entertainment for their inspectors than watching children read. However, disregarding textbooks has not only imagesbeen to the detriment of teachers’ well being and performance, but also to the development of pupils’ knowledge and skills. Read the full article here on the TES website

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2 thoughts on “Textbooks

  1. ChrisN

    Regular reading of textbooks can also provide pupils with exposure to (and thus a mental model of) the kind of “academic” phrasing and structure that they will need when they start writing essays. This is especially important for the many pupils who by preference read nothing but fiction.

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