Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Textbook Adoption

Today I went to a 2-hr meeting after school to finalize which statistics textbooks, AP and non-AP, we recommend that our district purchase for next year's new adoption.

All of us agreed that of the three books we could choose from, none was as good as what we have now.  And different schools currently use different books.  I was so disgusted with all of the choices that I said I'd rather give up the textbook I use now for what's currently used at any of our other schools rather than accept any of these.  In the end, I'll end up getting the book I really didn't want, as that's the way the vote went.

Why do books have to be so big now?  Why do they have to be full of multi-color pictures that do nothing to help students learn the material, but do (in my opinion) cause ADD?  These new books are an assault on the senses.  I find older books, with fewer colors and fewer unnecessary pictures, to be much easier to read with presentation of the material at least as good.  And they don't weigh 8 lbs apiece, and aren't a burden to carry everywhere.

Is it really that hard to write a good textbook?  Ugh.


Mrs. Widget said...

Apparently we are going there also. A sample packet of books arrives. The series which I currently use (and despise). My not recommending book letter to them bothered them so much they felt the urge to call our so called dept (she has no power is just the liason) to complain.

Now they want a meeting to try to sell us theirs. I can't wait. My question list is long and specific. I will not look and go "pretty pictures.""

My plan is to start tearing out pages and designate "crap", "useless" and "okay."

But truly is there a form?

Auntie Ann said...

Here's a pic of 3 textbooks. They are:

- The New School Algebra, by G.A. Wentworth, published in 1898.

- Algebra: Structure and Method. by Dolciani, et al., published in 1990.

- Algebra 1, by Littell, published in 2007.

Their respective weights are: 1 pound, 3 pounds, and 5 pounds.

The 2007 book is larger in every way. The cover is at least an inch longer and wider, there are at least 200 more pages, and the weight of the paper is heavier and glossier.

Last time I checked, algebra hasn't undergone any changes since 1898 or 1990.

We're killing our kids with these books, and driving the push to computer-based texts, which have major drawbacks: primarily the sleep-distruptive properties of screens and there use by adolescents. These are teens who tend to already have major issues with their ability to sync their sleep schedule with school.

PeggyU said...

What stats texts do you recommend? My son is using Tanis and Hogg's Probability and Statistical Inference (8th ed), and I actually kind of like it.

Darren said...

I don't know a lot about different stats books, but I don't mind the one I'm currently using. It's good for a non-AP stats text, and former students who take stats in college tell me everything is a review for them--so I must be doing something right.