Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

No more textbooks

This might be a move in the right direction, especially regarding history and social studies classes. An Arizona high school has stopped using textbooks and will instead rely on the internet. "Calvin Baker, superintendent of Vail Unified School District, said the move to electronic materials gets teachers away from the habit of simply marching through a textbook each year.

He noted that the AIMS test now makes the state standards the curriculum, not textbooks. Arizona students will soon need to pass Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards to graduate from high school." In history, social studies, government, and civics courses, they ought to make use of original documents.

Discussions - 4 Comments

what do they do with the waste products? you might remember we still don’t have a place for ours.

I think the first comment was meant for the blog entry below it on France and nukes. Then again, this comment is pretty funny in this context. The answer is the educational system’s waste products become...(fill in the blank)

Original documents are the way to go, but good textbooks are a good thing. I am horrified by the idea of using the internet for history. Children think of the written word as authoritative, and are not really prepared to filter out conspiracy theories, holocaust denial, hate sites, etc. After all, they are children - still in the process of learning how to think critically. Most really rancid political sites contain historical-sounding narrative. Once these kids are taught that the internet can be an academic authority - shudder - who knows what they may bring to class. This sounds to me like an excuse to cut back even further on reading and save a few bucks in the process. Of course if they are using WebCT or some such contained program, the danger of bringing truly hideous material into a High School history class is substantially diminished.

It would be better, in my mind, for schools to take the opportunity to introduce kids to reading - I am pretty sure they spend enough time on computers. If this Arizona High school wants to save a few bucks, rather than eliminating textbooks they could always fire some administrators.

WM, there’s a good bit of pollution in the textbooks as well, and that business is corrupt as hell. They spew pabulum and PC garbage like nobody’s business.

In my opinion, well-crafted Internet sites could replace texts, which would provide needed competition (in terms of substance) for the textbook publishers. If done well, a mix of Internet and (higher-quality) textbooks could improve education.

More exciting, conservatives could use the Net in a variety of private schools to correct the PC narratives their children will encounter in high school and college. Just as the blogs have helped keep the MSM (more) honest, Internet "texts" could help regain our history and sociology from the leftwing crazies. This could be done much more cheaply than corrective textbooks (which the publishing industry monopolizes anyway), and could be more accessible.

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