Going Beyond Textbooks

By go2saurav | Jul 26, 2015

In my previous article (Textbooks – a key link in traditional teaching methodology), I shared my views on the critical role that Textbooks played in establishing connect among the Teachers, Students and Parents. The shift from "Textbook Only" teaching came with the introduction of Computers in schools. This led to the shift in the teaching methodology from Textbook/ Reference Books mode to Textbook ++ mode.

This period also coincided with the time when post liberalization the economy had opened, there was a new job market of computer graduates shaping up, Schools and Teachers getting exposed to the new teaching methodologies adopted globally/ international boards. Parents became demanding and there was competition among schools to devise/ adopt new teaching methodologies. There were concerted efforts put in by schools and teachers in particular to adopt new teaching methods that go beyond the textbooks.

Access to computers in schools provided teachers with a new channel to deliver content to students. However, the onus of finding the right content remained with the teacher who had to put in additional time to build their content repositories. Teachers made effective use of computer + printer infrastructure in school to prepare and share information on subjects and practice worksheets with the students. Remember, computers were still expensive not in everyone’s home then. So, the worksheets actually had to be printed by teachers and sent physically with the students to home.

This first phase of transition from textbook to beyond textbook was useful for the students. They got comprehensive information on various topics of their interest and practice assignments to further improvise their understanding of the concepts.

Teachers were, however, the key driver of content delivery during this phase, as it was the teacher who had put in all the extra hours to find, structure and share the right content with the students.
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junykwilfred's picture

I think it's a very narrow perspective to attribute everything to computers.
Teaching beyond textbooks have been happening since ages. For starters, text books are rather newbies in the history of teaching and learning.
Still there is a plethora of matter, behaviour, concepts, ideas, experiences, relations that any kid has in her school - to say that they were not learning would be ridiculous. Also to count the field trips, events, classroom activities, gardening, and other classroom practices adopted by teachers. I believe it is possibly with the technological age and 'scaleable' education that we started confining teaching to the pages of a textbook alone.
There are some amazing teachers in govt schools in the villages of India, who have done unbelievable work and developed amazing TLMs from whatever little is around them - be it newspapers, be it dry leaves, be it the fields and mountains around and so on. They tell us that the prime need for a high class education is not computers or softwares or any such thing, but just loving and dedicated teachers - nothing more, nothing less.

go2saurav's picture

Hi.. thanks for sharing your views. I agree when you say that teaching is not just confined textbooks or computers, and there are numerous ways which teachers use beyond textbooks to teach their students. I remember my school teacher asking to make weather chart and each student by roll number had to update the chart with daily weather in the chart. It made us understand the seasons like nothing else while keeping all of us interested.
Coming back to my write up, I was rather focusing on how the academic theoretical content that was delivered through textbooks had an advantage that it connected the teachers, students and parents towards a common goal (as it focused primarily on the textbook content). However, the technology has brought with it an overdose of information and opened multiple communication channels. These developments have again brought the onus on the schools and teachers to align everyone's (parent, teacher and student) efforts towards a common learning objective for the students.

shwetagarg866's picture

Thanks for sharing your ideas. There is definitely shift in the way we deliver education to students, and it has changed over last one decade significantly, specially because of technology - on social media side than in the classrooms. Event ICT and other usage of tech in classrooms are very limited and mere a feature or option provided by schools in race to beat competitors.

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