Monday, December 24, 2007

Trust teachers to select their own textbooks 1

[I've been meaning to post my "manifesto" about textbook adoptions. Well, now's the time. I'm mercifully breaking it into digestible (i.e., "skippable") chunks. Here's chunk #1.]

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Some people think it would be best if all teachers throughout the district taught the same program (same lectures, same demonstrations, same laboratory activities, same reading assignments, same homework, and same tests) using the same methodology. For better or worse, such is not the state of physics instruction practiced in the district. Rather, the district is blessed with several individuals who teach programs tailored to their own students, their own strengths, and the equipment and facilities available to them at their own sites. This individualism allows for creativity and imagination.

Some would argue for the adoption of a single textbook for our standard High School Physics course. They contend that a single title adopted throughout the district would be the most efficient use of the district’s textbook funds and it would best serve the needs of our students.

In the posts that follow, I'll go through the reasons given in the past and why each one of them is wrong.

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