This is a great discussion about textbooks! The various voices who have weighed in have added valuable perspectives and insights and I encourage you to read the previous post with all of its comments. ( 14 comments – some are my own- but this is a real conversation). The more I reflect on this issue the more I am convinced that while we need something different it is not going to be forthcoming anytime soon. So the question is what we do in face of this reality. A discussion of textbooks is the gateway to questions of pedagogy, curriculum, course design and lesson planning.
In addition, the standards which are the curriculum have proved to be too broad and cover too much area (especially in Social Studies) which furthers the reliance on the textbook as a default approach. We have begun looking at power standards identifying critical knowledge as a means to focus instruction and empower the teachers to be authors of curriculum but it is not an easy task.
- In the upper grades student scribes and wikis will help to build resources for future classes. Take a look at what Clay is doing with a “textbook” wiki
- As knowledge based texts ( like Science and Social Studies) age the online supplements should increase and be well defined.
- Purchases in Social Studies and Science will most probably be in the form of smaller, lighter more reasonably priced trade books and trade magazines.
- Grade level skill acquisitioning each subject must be clearly articulated and resource provided. (Skills however can not be taught in isolation but must be applied across the curriculum)
- Leveled readers in subject areas should be considered to make the curriculum more accessible.
- Language Arts will encompass digital literacy.
component will progressively move toward literature as the grades progress and can then employ less expensive lighter novels instead of anthologies. Reading
As I said this is my initial brainstorm but it needs more work. What do you think? Will this work? What would you add or delete? It is my goal to put together a working document for my school and your comments will be invaluable to the process.Technorati Tags: textbooks, curriculum, web2.0, class2.0, school2.0, classroom2.0