One of the most powerful changes I have made to my teaching in a long time has been quitting a number of textbooks this year. While my classroom is not ‘textbook free’, my reliance on them on a daily or even weekly basis has ended.
Now, instead of feeling beholden to the pages in a book written years ago and a world away, my students source information on their devices to solve the problems that they encounter, or receive custom-curated resources created to see to the needs of our particular projects.
The following are some of the reasons that I have chosen to quit my textbooks and change my practice for the better!
Textbooks can be a useful resource, especially to new teachers still becoming comfortable in their classrooms. However, over-reliance on textbooks can hold back your ability to engage students in authentic learning activities.
My classroom isn't entirely textbook free yet, but my goal is to get there soon. Have you ever considered quitting your textbooks? Did it work out? Share your ideas in the comments!
Matthew Boomhower is a mid-career educator with 15 years of classroom teaching and educational leadership experience. He is Head of Innovation & Learning at an international school in Malaysia and is a proud husband and father.