Friday, July 5, 2013

New books, old books - they sure look the same

Lately I have looked at a lot of 6-12 textbooks and websites.  And one thought keeps crossing my mind -- these are nearly the same as before.  The only difference is the order of some things.  So the CCSS has theoretically changed textbooks and teaching (or will) but in reality the books are the same.  They are so utterly close to the previous books that I am having a hard time justifying buying new books at $90 per pop and I am probably going to buy one edition back, used texts for $10 each.  Cause the books are not different enough to help a teacher who is unsure of himself/herself with math and the CCSS.

And isn't that the real statement - a book cannot lead a weak teacher; I don't care what book I have, I typically use 2-3 in each of my courses.  I teach conceptually using a combo of large projects, daily practice and non-negotiable skills -- the book is not my math bible, it is a nice guide.   But for teachers that use a textbook as a bible, the current selection will not change their teaching and won't make the CCSS anymore achieveable than the last edition.  I am not sure any textbook can.

As an ending comment lets just say publishers have not found the holy grail for the CCSS based on the books I have reviewed.