Sunday, September 09, 2007

You can take this textbook and...

After going through textbook adoption last year, we have received our new textbooks, and for some bizarre reason (I believe it's because it's what the other middle school in the district wanted) the 6th and 7th graders will be using the text from Glencoe-McGraw Hill, and the 8th graders will be using the text from Teachers Curriculum Institute (TCI). I am fine with the Glencoe book; it was my first choice for all three grade levels. So why, oh why, did the 8th graders get a different text? Just being different would be OK if the style of the text was like the Glencoe books. But no, the TCI is one big love letter to the worst excesses of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory. Yes, as a resident heretic in the education community, I think Howard Gardner is full of crap with his MI theory. But that is a post for another day. Right now, I have to think of a Plan B, and fast.

I like a text that comes with plenty of supplemental materials and a teachers edition text with lots of ideas in the margin so that I may pick and choose my lessons according to my teaching style and the intellectual abilities of my students. The TCI text and materials are very bare bones and very scripted. There is no teachers edition textbook. There is simply a guidebook whereby I am supposed to use the scripted lesson they provide for each chapter, and that's all there is to it. And every lesson centers around some sort of skit or cooperative learning activity. There are no other options provided by the trendy numskulls at TCI. If I don't want to use the one and only lesson they have provided, I have to reinvent the frickin' wheel by coming up with my own lesson and my own materials.

Any ideas anyone?

Good Day to You, Sir


Coach Brown said...

I don't get the whole TCI textbook issue. I reviewed some this year, and while I love the simulations they produce, the textbooks are horrid. I mean, really horrid. Good luck with them.

Darren said...

Jump ship? =)

Polski3 said...

Sorry to hear this dude.....We have some of the old TCI stuff around school, and eons ago, got like part of a day training in it. The major problem we had with the old TCI system that utilized whatever textbook you had, was that it relied too heavily on students reading and understanding their textbook prior to attempting most of the TCI activities. However, I do like and still use, some of the geography stuff that is part of the older TCI stuff. Let me know what you are teaching ( World History 7 or US History 8, and if you like, I could send you some of it.)

We adopted the McDougal-Littrell text stuff, in part because of the ton of supplimental stuff and the website they had ( by the way, IMO, the website is not as good as it was, they changed it and IMO, messed it up).

Have you been told to ONLY use the materials recently purchased by your district? We have been told this....but we now have a new Asst. Super. for Curriculum who may let us have more freedom to use materials we deem useful in helping our kids learn the standards.