The Decline of Textbooks



For dozens of years, students were made to believe that textbooks were the epitome of knowledge although textbook authors may have been biased.   For example, American history books presented battles from the viewpoint of the pioneer rather than that of the Indian.  Teachers taught from the “facts” as presented in the textbooks, and students accepted the lessons as truth.


Today, students are exposed to multiple sources of information about every possible subject.  Teachers differentiate between fact and opinion.  Students are encouraged to form their own opinions after researching issues.  With the internet, research is only a few keyboard strokes away.


Whereas Texas formerly provided a state-approved textbook for each student in each course of study, the state now provides each district with an “instructional materials” allotment.  The funds may be spent on textbooks, or they may be spent on technology equipment such as iPads.  Though still in use by most school districts, textbooks are certainly not the major source of information.



Filed under Education

8 responses to “The Decline of Textbooks

  1. Gihan

    In the other side of the world, the Middle East- teaching from the American books in the international American Schools, we can see the bias but this help us to explain to the students that even facts can be colored with our points of views which highlights the importance of research, the importance of continuous strive for knowledge to learn.

  2. I often wondered why textbooks were not used in their most potent form, as springboards… the rigidity of them being a “storehouse of facts” never occurred to me, not a student, and less so as an adult!

  3. I think all educators must teach their learners how to discern fact from opinion. When will we ever overcome bias? Perhaps when we are able to really connect with others. It could by that modern technology will assist with these connections.

  4. Textbooks should be the last resource. Concepts should be facilitated in a real life situation. The best way to teach a new concept is experientially.

  5. Judy Hill Henriquez

    Dr. Hill,
    While modern technology is replacing the text book, there should be more monitoring of technology in the class room. Students visit sites which are not blocked and are exposed to inappropriate material. However the advancement in technology, especially the use of the white board in the class room has empowered and inspired teaching. Some students still enjoy a quiet time reading an interseting book.
    Judy Hill Henriquez

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