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re: textbook or no textbook
Posted:
Oct 2, 1996 5:27 PM


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 electronic).
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