History Textbook

Discussion in 'High School' started by tiki7719, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Hi,

    I am an undergrad student and I am currently taking a course (intro to social studies) and one of the debates is the use of a textbook in the classroom. My professor is totally against having a history textbook in the classroom. He rather have readings, hand-outs, etc..so the teacher isn't using the textbook to teach from.

    Just out of curiosity, how many use a textbook regularly in their classroom? Also, what are the pros/cons of using a textbook in the class?

    Thank you all for taking the time out to read this and I hope to hear some responses :)
     
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  3. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    Sep 24, 2008

    i have yet to have my own classroom....but unless I was obligated by my school to use a textbook, I would never use one, at least not those generic ones I had in HS. I would never teach my students the bunch of BS found in those books. Articles, excerpts. films, for me.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I teach elementary (5th self-contained) and one middle school math class. I don't use a history text for 5th, and don't use the math text for the MS class.

    For history, we use a variety of materials - it's a lot of organizing to put it all together and make sure it covers the necessary topics, but it's worth it. The textbooks are on the shelf. They are beautiful and we refer to them occasionally to look something up.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I don't teach history, but as usual feel free to give my 2 cents anyway.

    His way of teaching sounds wonderful, but maybe just the tiniest bit impractical. (As is so often the case in education classes.)

    Once you buy a textbook, you can get lots of use from it for a number of years, even considering how quickly history texts become outdated. Supplementing that text with handouts would enable a teacher to keep her class up to date.

    But it would take lots and lots of Xeroxing to keep a typical high school learning actively for a whole year without a textbook. That's lots and lots of time spent fighting a Xerox machine and lots and lots of paper and toner. Some schools place limits on how much you can Xerox in a given year. In others, it's just not practical in terms of the amount of time a teacher would need to put in.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I think the problem is when teachers rely on one textbook. I use various textbooks with each of my classes, including a primary source reader. My kids only have a copy of the primary textbook for their class and they complete readings from to get the basics. The in-class readings expand on topics in the textbook or add in their own ones. For me it depends on the course's textbook for example my APUSH uses the American Paegant it is a good textbook, so I tend to supplement less than in my Western Civ. class in which the textbook is designed for World History.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "Supplementing" is absolutely necessary.

    "Replacing" sounds too idealistic to be practical.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Alice, while the textbook is still definately used in the History classes at my school, we do not use that as a source for our units. To be honest in our Western Civ class the text has been virtually replaced.
     
  9. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2008

    I had the same philosophy as your professor until I gained my own classroom last year-I think my students opened the book once or twice all year. I gave notes we did activities, they took tests-but I didn't feel they were getting what they needed.

    This year, its used as a supplement. I don't give notes, they create their own through series of graphic organizers, flow charts etc. We review in preparation for the chapter tests, making sure they have what they need to study and follow the core content that each chapter is given and what I'm required to cover. I've always liked hands-on learning. The only times my students read sections and answer review questions are: 1. we have at least 5 minutes left in class and they need something to do; 2. They don't participate in the activity or gathering of information on their own then they must do that to get the information; 3. when they get in-school suspension and miss the classtime.
     
  10. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Sep 28, 2008

    thank you all for responding to my posts :) I've taken a sabbatical from really checking the message board due to my hefty school load for this semester :(

    I really like the idea of them taking their own notes as I am a hands-on learner as well. Do you have any references I can look into about this? For their own note taking, is this their homework? Or is it done in class? Do you collect it or is it a case if they don't do it, then its their funeral? I never thought of student note-taking this way. I really like the concept of the teacher covering what they need to and the students get to delve into what they like.
     
  11. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Its all on them. I usually put on the board some type of graphic organizer like a flow chart or a table of some sort ..I find them in the teacher's edition on some occasions where the book suggests having the students use it to understand what the chapter is saying..I just turn it into part of their notes. We do go over it after a period of time, I generally give them about 15-20 minutes depending on how long the section is and then I have them tell me what to plug in-obviously I know the 'answers' and only put down the ones they say that are right. If they don't know it, I remind them that they DO have their books in front of them and I stand patiently waiting for someone to respond. I encourage if they have it half right-I ask questions, making them think. These 'notes' go into their notebook/binder that they keep for the class (kind of a modified ISN) We've finished the chapter and are now using the core content that they need to know to do a type of review before getting the study guide.
    Many remember what they've read and can answer questions alot easier than just writing down what I write or what's on the powerpoint slide. I've made it harder on them and easier on me..instead of easier on them and harder on me. I was doing the learning for THEM, instead of the students learning. Now, I do have a Science co-worker that makes this homework each night. They have to read the section and put down the information they think is important then they go over it and do activities the next day. That works for her. I'd rather do it in class. This helps me because I love history and sometimes want to tell them more than what they need or can handle at one time-mainly because I get excited and tell stories about it. Now, I get to them what they need for core and tests and in a review I can give stories or add bits here and there of fun facts and interesting information. I feel better-I feel like they are learning more and participating more. I let them work in groups or pairs doing the organizers, they work better this way and actually do it instead of just sitting there waiting for me and the other students to tell them what to put. Peer pressure works wonders in this situation-they push each other in a group to finish. An example is..we just finished talking about exploration and one section was about the atlantic slave trade...they had a flow chart that had 3 boxes that 'connected' by an arrow going down..the boxes were 1. Origins 2. Process and 3. Effect. So in #1 they put why/how the slave trade started, #2 how the african slaves got to the americas ( i explained the process as how and used the ex. of if someone told you to give them the process of making a pb&j what would you say..you'd tell them how you put it together) and #3 what were the effects of the slave trade (loss of lives, africa lost people..etc) that's the ENTIRE section in 3 boxes instead of 6 pages. That's the essence of the section..then I pull in to mention a couple of things..the vocab is interjected in the graphic org, because one vocab was part of the process.

    I like it..it may be too much or not enough for others. Forgot to add..so editing here...this is a HUGE concept for them, they are used to getting things TOLD to them..where to put this how to put that. You'll get a little resistance..i had one say why dont you just tell us what to write (uhh no..then you don't LEARN). So if you try it where it is all on them, be prepared to possibly have some 'shock'.
     
  12. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Our textbook is one rich source of information. It has wonderful pictures and many extra features. I can't believe a professor wouldn't be able to see that. However, to have it be the only source for the classroom isn't wise. It is my opinion that kindergarten teachers are much better teachers than college professors. I say this because so many college professors love to drone on and on, requiring their students to take notes on everything they are saying. Elementary teachers provide so many more opportunities for excitement and stimuation for the learners. College students need these aspects too.
     
  13. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2008

    If they almost never read a book & don't have notes to follow, where do they get the information from to create the organizers, etc?
     
  14. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I said that I used to have that thought process. They use it to complete it now, I use it as a supplement. They use it to fill in the organizers and then we use other resources, videos, activities, to further the topic. Perhaps I should have said its used a bit more than a supplement-but not everyday staring into the book getting all information without discussions and debates.
     
  15. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 1, 2008

    Like Brendon, we use the provided text as a source for basic information, but do a lot of supplementing. We do a lot of simulations which require more research on the subject than the book provides. For instance we are in the midst of a town hall meeting with loyalists and patriots giving their own views and the audience peppering them with prepared questions. This required doing more research to get material than the book supplied. In addition , the loyalists and patriots were given names of actual people from that time so their statements had to reflect that persons point of view as well as others in similar professions and in that particular colony. Primary Sources are a "must" and most texts have very little included.

    A primary text book is very helpful. We, too use graphic organizers to take notes on the reading. However, no one textbook can be considered the curriculum.
     
  16. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Oct 1, 2008

    Thank you for all your responses!

    I really like your style HistoryTeaching. It gives the kids a feel of what college will be like. I definitely will at the least, try that. In high school, one of the main complaints that I had was the teaching handing the notes out on a silver platter. Its a challenge once you get to college and the professors don't even pick up a piece of chalk. I believe what you do builds great note taking skills.

    How do your students enjoy it?
     
  17. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Oct 1, 2008

    [QUOTE It is my opinion that kindergarten teachers are much better teachers than college professors. [/QUOTE]

    thats because most college professors have never taught in a k-12 classroom and they THINK they know everything and they don't. Sorry, just ranting from this semester.
     
  18. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2008

    Oh O.K., thanks!

    :thumb:

    I love history myself - all those Big Events and heroes & heroines.....and other not-so-ethical people :( - but if it's not taught correctly, especially if it is reduced to just a bunch of dates and dry facts heard by an instructor droning on & on in front of the room, history can be converted to an excruciating bore.

    Speaking of college: most of my history profs at the 2 colleges I attended lectured for the entire period and most of them also wrote copious amounts of notes on the board - that was it. No activities of any kind.
     
  19. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Well, my students don't necessarily enjoy it because its MORE WORK for them. They want me to GIVE them the answer and just TELL them what to write-its what they are used to and I refuse to just give it to them. I make them LOOK in the book and chapter or LOOK in the dictionary. If after 5-10 minutes they are struggling I'll give them PART of the information or tell them the section or what direction I am wanting them to go. Just like, for example I want 5 answers on a topic, they give me 1 and 2..I'll help them out and say what do you think about?? and make that #3 and they suppley 4 and 5.

    Its more exhausting to get them 'trained', but in the end it is more work for them than me. I still go over study guides as normal and conduct tests as usual, but the notes is no longer me putting up a powerpoint and showing them what to write or putting things on the board to write. They are just copying and very very few actually learn. (usually its the kids that already get high As that learn)
     

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