In her thought-provoking, often whimsical (“Every member of my family is brain-damaged.”), and consistently well researched book, The Core, Leigh Bortins makes a case for a turn from the many errors of conventional schooling to the consistent success of classical education.
One of her points is that “Surveying textbooks replaced studying original documents.”
Modern education depends on textbooks. Instead, teachers should demand that our older students struggle with difficult arguments from a wide range of original documents and great literary works. The author or team of authors of a textbook have sorted through standard references and consulted educational associations to determine what basic information should be included in their volume. The authors and editors do the hard work of summarizing the most important information relating to a subject instead of letting students research and summarize the information.
I sometimes wonder why we have so little confidence in young people. Unfortunately, because of that lack of confidence we have in them, they never gain it in themselves. It’s too bad.
- The Unsustainable College Textbook Bubble (mjperry.blogspot.com)