Friday, January 2, 2009

Textbook free in chemistry

An article from Geoff Ruth in Edutopia. Ruth gives an excellent overview of the thinking involved by an educator making the textbook-free plunge. And he does so in a field--chemistry--that skeptics would be less likely to scoff at (not as easy of a plunge as if he were a literature teacher).

The paragraph that hits closest to home:

Teaching without a textbook means more prep time, especially in the first few years. It means amassing and adapting curriculum from a wide variety of sources, including journals, lab books, Web sites, packaged curricula, and other teachers. It means mapping this collection to the standards of your school and state. In addition, it means proactively engaging and persuading the administration, the teaching staff, and the parents that ditching the textbook is in the students' best interests. But it's worth this effort. My students are more engaged, they understand more and act out less, and they develop a deeper comprehension of the subject matter.

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