Educ 415 Blog

Month: May, 2013

Beyond the textbook – Meaningful resources.

This week I chose a post called beyond the textbook by Christopher Danielson called “Beyond the Textbook” from March 27th, 2013 (


This is an interesting and relevant post for me as I have been struggling with textbooks both in the classes I have taught and the classes I have taken.  I am going to break this post into three sections, the first being my experience in teaching with textbooks, the second being my experience in learning with textbooks, and lastly thoughts about Christopher Danielson’s post.  

Teaching with textbooks:  I found the stigma attached to textbooks the school I taught at interesting.  Many students were anti-text because the automatically assumed text=boring (this information I was not surprised at), I was however shocked at how many students loved the textbook and workbook.  The first evaluations I received from students in my Science 10 class there were a large number of students (7-9ish) who said they wished I used the text and workbook more.  

Learning with textbooks:  The reasons the evaluations surprised me is I like most of my students either dislike or are indifferent towards most texts.  I have found very few texts to be engaging and extremely relevant in my education career.  I also do not prefer to learn through textbook reading, but I know that not everyone prefers to learn the same ways as I do.  I have an online class this term where all of the learning is from a text and I do not like it and I am getting way less out of the text than I am from looking at other sources of information (journals, other online sources etc.).  


Thought’s on Danielson’s post:  The one sentence that really resonated with me was “So for me, it is important for us to remember that going “Beyond Textbooks” does not have to mean abandoning books, nor texts.”  This is a great point, as a teacher I need to make sure everything I do in class have relevance and is the best resource for teaching a certain topic.  If the best resource is a textbook than that is ok, but I can’t allow myself use a textbook just because it is easy or there.  


Sports Practice vs Math Practice and ‘relevance’

I think I would expect the similar results from my classes if I did the same survey.  I would also answer I like sports practice more than math practice (and I actually like math), because I really love sports and winning/competing is fun both of which you need practice for.  If I think back through my educational career (HS, college, university, PDP) I realize that I worked harder (‘practiced more’) on subject or classes that I felt were relevant to my future success.  This is just like sports practice I think that if athletes see a certain drill or skill as necessary to their future successes in games that they would tend to work harder or more diligently at that drill.  I think this all comes back to the necessity of making learning relevent in every class, if students do not think the material is relevent or necessary they will not try as hard.  This is not an easy task for every topic and I feel that it needs to be established for maximal student success.