> Maybe if textbooks were available in the classroom for students to use >when they felt like it they could figure out how best they could use >>>them.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to find a textbook that, instead of laying out a prescribed and inflexible path to knowledge (pronounced most textbooks), would be a readable and well-indexed encyclopedia of mathematical concepts.
>in answer to your question, putting textbooks on an equal footing with >discussion or critical inquiry exercises is still giving them too much >symbolic space that has been and still is hurtful to education.
In any classroom education there are always a few constant, though not necessarily dominant, interpreters or guides and one of these is the teacher. The teacher cannot necessarily be trusted to have less of an agenda than the text-book. It is true they, as sensible (observing and alive) humans, can respond better to critical inquiry from learners that will never naturally follow any agenda. But I believe the responsive teacher can also selectively use text-books or other pre-written curriculum aids to pick and choose from in response to learner needs and desires. Equal footing, no but in a different category (tool, not guide.)