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Lesson 11: Criteria For Selecting And Using Textbooks

  1. Decide if the textbook will supplement what is said/done in class or if it will serve as a key source of information.
  2. Consider the following:
    • Does it reflect the values of the discipline?
    • Does the textbook give fair treatment to competing theories and perspectives?
    • Does it correspond closely to what will be said in class?
    • Will it reduce the time spent in class for understanding content, thus allowing more time for the application of content and problem-solving?
    • Will it motivate students to learn?
    • Does the text reflect current issues or is it outdated?
    • Does it closely match your point of view? (If not, will you be spending much of your time refuting what the text says?)
    • Does the text provide material in an organized and sequential manner?
    • Does it provide helpful illustrations, graphs, maps, diagrams, etc.
    • Is it affordable?
    • What is the reading level of the textbook?
  3. Order textbooks early so that they are available on the first day of class.
  4. In class, model how you would use the textbook if you were taking the course.(Avoid using phrases such as "You should ... ". Instead, say "I would ... ").
  5. Hold students accountable for what is in the text by using class time to reinforce the content through discussions, questions, small group activities, etc. If the book says it well, there is no need using class time to restate what is in the text. Your goal should be to supplement or clarify what is in the textbook, not reiterate it.

Lessons: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, References

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