Helen Ward

The rise and fall of the textbook

The government still insists textbooks are a key classroom tool. But one thing is clear, finds Helen Ward: the ‘outdated’ teaching tool is being swept aside en masse by a teaching profession assailed by cost and workload pressure

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In recent years, teachers have been told in no uncertain terms that they should be using more textbooks, in line with the world’s top-performing education systems.

Schools minister Nick Gibb has railed against an “anti-textbook ethos” in the profession, and the government has provided match-funding aimed at increasing the use of textbooks in the classroom.

But a Tes-YouGov survey reveals teachers are heading in the opposite direction. One in 10 teachers say they use textbooks in more than half of their lessons – a drop from 13 per cent three years ago. And just 8 per cent of those surveyed ...

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