All students have used textbooks of some sort at a point, whether it has been for the activities in Springboard or the guided readings in any history textbook. Most classes have a set of guidelines to keep learning on track, but many students have some critiques surrounding them.
“They don’t really teach me stuff. I just read them and take notes, like my teacher tells me to, but I honestly don’t absorb the information,” said Freshman Laelah Vongphachan.
Another common critique is that some textbooks are simply not that useful. It is important to note that not all classes are given the same consideration when budgeting for textbooks, and this can lead to a gap in quality in textbooks between different classes.
“I think that the AP Psychology book is a better book. The reason that I do not use the textbook that much in Psych 1 and 2 is because I do not like the book. I do not think it is as good of a resource and things are just oversimplified. Especially if they are going to go on to AP Psych, I do not want to teach them something just to counter it next year,” said Kathleen Walsh, who teaches Psychology at Steinbrenner.
Something else that comes up surrounding textbooks is how outdated they can get. While some classes, such as English, Math, and Science courses stay relatively unchanged, subjects that are more theoretical, like Psychology, or subjects that keep on expanding, such as History courses, require updated material at a faster rate than what the school system can provide. Especially in AP classes, where the curriculum for the exam at the end of the year is so constantly changing.
“It’s unfortunate, that textbooks tend to get outdated so quickly,” said Sophomore Makayla Williams.
Schools simply cannot afford to purchase every updated edition of a textbook that comes out, which can lead to the feeling that the textbooks are dragging the material behind.
The general consensus surrounding textbooks appears to be that they can be useful guidelines, but they need to be moderated as it is important to keep in mind how outdated or useful a textbook is when deciding how heavily coursework should lean on it.
Laura Pinto Alton // Staff Writer