If you do not utilize a textbook, how will your students learn to "read mathematics"? One of the major problems I face at the university level is entering freshmen who have never been required by their teachers to read the narrative portion of their math texts. Their books were used solely as sources of exercises. I can only see this as getting worse if teachers abandon textbooks entirely.
I do believe that there are talented teachers who can teach well without a text and who will still manage to be sufficiently organized and have a sufficient understanding of the mathematics content, curriculum, and scope and sequence, to do a good job. But not the "average" teacher at any level. You show me an "average" teacher without a textbook or without specific training or preparation to teach with other resources, and I'll show you a floundering teacher without direction, students who are learning relatively little of mathematical value, and angry parents who want to know why there is "no math program at the school or district."
I am aware that there are some "awful" textbooks on the market. But there are also some "excellent" ones. Rather than just throwing out all texts, why not just "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative"? And at the elementary level [which Elliott Bird was addressing in his post], even Presidential Awardees would have to work incredibly hard to provide the same degree of mathematics that is contained in the K-6 Comprehensive School Mathematics Program [CSMP/21]--and they might not succeed! :)
Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 email@example.com
On Wed, 22 Feb 1995, David Young wrote:
> Maybe it's a trick question. I vote for no book as the best way to > support the Standards! > > 7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 > 7 7 > 7 David A. Young Voice: (501) 444-3011 7 > 7 833 East Ash Street Fax: (501) 444-3004 7 > 7 Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703 7 > 7 7 > 7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 > >