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Topic: re: textbook or no textbook
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Jack Rotman

Posts: 22
Registered: 12/6/04
re: textbook or no textbook
Posted: Oct 2, 1996 5:27 PM
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Arron Eisen said (Oct 1, 1996):
>Please. Can you direct me to any studies that have compared the effects of
>teaching math with and without the use of texts. We are currently having a
>serious discussion within our school about the usefulness of texts in the
>delivery of the math program. Please comment!!!

I can't really answer the question that Arron raises, but I did want to
put in a comment from my perspective at a community college.

Students who reach a college course without any background in using a text
are at a disadvantage. (This is true when there were "no texts", and when
there "is a text" but the teachers did not require any reading/learning
from the book.)

The reason for "no use of text" being a disadvantage is that college courses
have relatively less class time -- we can not "present" or "develop" all
the material during class. I know teachers feel like they lack enough
time to do what they want; however, a college course has 50 to 65 class
hours for about the same amount of material as the 170 to 190 class hours
in high school. There are certainly other factors in high school, some of
which will decrease the time available for actual instruction. (Discipline
comes to mind!) Even allowing for other factors, college math classes have
less contact time for the quantity of material -- therefore, students need
to develop some of their knowledge based on use of a textbook. Although
we can help a student learn how to use a textbook in mathematics, this is
a skill that students won't know they are lacking until they have trouble.

Sorry for the long note; basically, I would encourage you to either USE the
textbook (as in students use it) OR to have comparable experiences, where
students develop skills in learning based on the printed word (hard copy or

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Jack Rotman phone (517)483-1079
Math Professor
Lansing Community College Lansing, MI
"Like all art & science, mathematics surrounds us."
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