Arguments for using a coursebook ... ^_^ ?
What is the importance of a course book for students and teacher? Mostly teachers prefer to use a course book, because ... can you tell me WHY???
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It is the easiest way to assign students work. When they have a book with them, you can give them homework or prep work out of the book. When you don't use a course book you have to supply the materials each time, and you might not be able to let the students take these materials home. When you try to have students rely on the internet for finding sources and material you often run into problems with students who say they don't have access to the internet, or their computer is not working, or they just couldn't find anything.
Course books add much discipline to a program. Without course books, students would have no idea what is coming up and what will happen later on. Course books add a sense of ownership since students can study further ahead at their own pace, review difficult material, and have a sense of owning their own study. Without the books, students would feel adrift, and would have to rely on the teacher to provide all of the materials in a tinely manner to study. This way, students need only to be informed of the pages to review and the material to be studied.
It certainly makes the teacher's job easier. Whether I use one or not depends on the course and what books are available. Many school districts have cut back on textbook purchases, hoping to save money, but many teachers wind up using photocopied material in the absence of textbooks anyway, which can cost even more. There are many disadvantages to textbooks, and teachers have to be willing to use supplementary documents in addition to the text, but for most high school courses, they are essential. What is important, then, is picking the best textbook available, which for me means one that most reflects the direction scholarship is going.
The pros of textbooks are: ease of use for the teachers, supplemental materials for the teacher, "one stop shopping" for the student.
The cons of textbooks are: they can be out of date (some schools books are decades old), they are boring, they lack primary sources, and are often not aligned to state and national standards.
Coursebooks provide structure and support for the course. The higher you move in education, the more your coursebooks will change. For younger students, the teacher is likely to follow the coursebook exactly. It allows the students to know what is coming and review where they have been. As students grow and courses become more complicated, teachers will start to jump around a bit in the coursebooks. They will also likely add supplementary materials. For students at a higher level of eduction such as the collegiate level, there are likely to be multiple coursebooks for each course. The point of the book is so that everyone can be on the same page. A teacher can assign work or reading material and everyone will have access to the exact same piece of information.
Another pro is that coursebooks allow for unscheduled delays and/or days off. Substitute teachers can usually follow a lesson in a text easier than one from the teacher's head.
That said, textbooks can cause teachers to become stagnant. Following a text book can take away from dynamic and creative teaching.
I have to say that as an educator, I have never heard of a coursebook (is that bad?). Is this something regional? I would be curious to see what they offer and how they "work." How are they different from a Teacher's edition of a student book?
I agree with the idea that a coursebook makes it easier for assigning homework, asking for students to read something ahead of class time, or as a resource to explain terms to students. In general, they are multi-purpose. However, and this is a big however to me, I also agree with post 7 that a coursebook can let a teacher allow their teaching to follow the book and forget the creative ideas of their own about presenting a skill or idea. I once had to use a prescribed program, and it was the worst curriculum I have ever used. I finally had to junk most of it, teach what I had to use, and then substitute my own methods and materials to teach the skills the students really needed.
It all depends on your subject and students really. I teach low-level high school English and only utilize bits and pieces of it. They are handy when you want the students to do homework or review, but oftentimes you can create better exercises and examples on your own. I would say don't rely on them, but use them as a supplement.
I think that a coursebook/textbook is very useful, especially for more rigorous classes such as any math or science course. For teachers, it makes their job a bit easier because they can assign homework problems from the textbook, and if they wanted to make their own problems, which would allow the students to have more opportunities to practice and understand the material. Vice versa, the teacher could use the textbook for extra problems and create their own for regular homework.
The biggest downside I can think of, at least for college students, is purchase price. Many textbooks cost over $100 (at their cheapest, used price) and it can take quite a toll of finances. Overall though, I think that textbooks are very useful and even when they are expensive they definitely help me understand the material better.
Hope this helps!
A Coursebook is a great outline for kids and while teachers can use this in order to highlight the important parts of the book, students can use this in order to create a better understanding of the subject and of the book. On top of this they can go further in depth with this and when I use a course book I think it helps me a lot.
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