When I started teaching, I was very much anti -textbooks. I felt they weren’t necessary for certain subjects. I still believe that but I have changed my mind a little over the years. Excessive workbooks can be just time consuming and a worry as you rush to get them completed by the end of the year! As with everything, balance is best. As the saying goes, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel! Textbooks provide structure and routine for the children, and text books have come on in leaps and bounds over the years and often come with excellent online resources too.
Also time is a valuable commodity in a teacher’s life, and having a textbook does save time. They can be a good starting point for a topic or a project. I would always use extra resources, videos , PowerPoints etc alongside a textbook , but having the book just means you are not solely reliant on sourcing extra materials.
We tried a few years without text books in our school for SESE. We reintroduced them a couple of years ago because we found that it helped a lot with planning from class to class. Without text books we found a lot of topics were being repeated year after year, whereas with the introduction of the text books we had more structure and less repetition of topics.
Textbooks are useful in moderation, in my opinion!
A lot of teachers are thinking about book lists now and I’ll be sharing some reviews and my thoughts on new books here over the next few weeks so stay tuned!