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.