Daily Bookmarks 11/04/2007

2¢ Worth » Practicing the Habits of Literacy  Annotated

  • Comparing student research using prepackaged information sources (like textbooks and databases) with broader research sources where students have to evaluate their sources. Maybe we should be teaching students to critically evaluate their textbooks too though; prepackaged sources aren’t automatically right.
     – post by christyinsdesign

But if students are asked to research on a liberally open and reasonably safe Internet, to evaluate and validate what they learn, to apply it to other findings, sift and select and then express what they’ve learned, to be responsible for what they learn, then you’re integrating something into the lesson that will not change — Literacy Habits.  Even literacy skills will change.  But the habits won’t.

2 thoughts on “Daily Bookmarks 11/04/2007

  1. I don’t know if we need to completely do away with textbooks, but I’d definitely like to see less reliance on them and a more skeptical attitude towards them.

    In a comment on David Warlick’s blog, I explained one way we might use textbooks and still teach literacy habits. My AP Gov teacher from high school used a lousy textbook and the tests straight from the book. He acknowledged that it was bad, but it was closest to the AP test that he was prepping us for. Part of the routine after every unit test from the book was that we got to debate the validity of the test questions. If we could convince him that the question was bad, or the information from the text was bad, everyone in the class got a point for their score. We used the prepackaged source, but we knew to be skeptical about it.

    David had a good point in his reply though:

    The reason that I suggest de-emphasizing textbooks (not ignoring or rejecting outright) is that they are packaged and intended to be seen as authoritative, where asking questions about the answers is not necessary.

    A more open World Wide Web, on the other hand, begs for validating. It begs for contemporary literacy skills.

    On there are lots of primary sources available online. I’m developing a course right now about using online primary sources.

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