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1/7/06 7:10 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 07-Jan-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1243
 
http://www.edutopia.org/magazine/ed1article.php?id=Art_1195&issue=nov_04 Excerpt:
Every time a friend with kids in school tells me textbooks are too generic, I think back to that moment. "Who writes these things?" people ask me. I have to tell them, without a hint of irony, "No one." It's symptomatic of the whole muddled mess that is the $4.3 billion textbook business. Textbooks are a core part of the curriculum, as crucial to the teacher as a blueprint is to a carpenter, so one might assume they are conceived, researched, written, and published as unique contributions to advancing knowledge. In fact, most of these books fall far short of their important role in the educational scheme of things. They are processed into existence using the pulp of what already exists, rising like swamp things from the compost of the past. The mulch is turned and tended by many layers of editors who scrub it of anything possibly objectionable before it is fed into a government-run "adoption" system that provides mediocre material to students of all ages.
1/8/06 1:15 PM
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Logic Rules
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Edited: 08-Jan-06
Member Since: 08/01/2005
Posts: 5409
The sad part is the price. I am correct.
1/9/06 10:53 AM
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Willybone
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Edited: 09-Jan-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 22149
I'm using a physics textbook that's in its fifth printing now, and it STILL has about 5% of the solutions WRONG. Even simple shit is totally wrong.
Very disappointing to bash your head on a problem you can't seem to get right, only to find out the next day that you got it right on the first try, but the book's still wrong after the fifth try.
1/10/06 8:16 PM
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DustDevil
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Edited: 10-Jan-06
Member Since: 06/27/2004
Posts: 601
That's pretty bad Willybone. The professor for my family relationships class told us yesterday that the textbook we have sucks, but that he has to use it. Dropping the $100.00 for the worthless doorstop also sucks. :(
1/17/06 1:04 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 17-Jan-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1301
It looks like at least one group out there is doing something about it: http://www.textbookleague.org/
1/19/06 7:31 AM
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asdf
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Edited: 19-Jan-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 8755
Willybone, which book is it? There are good intro to Physics books out there. Your prof might've just picked a bad one. Some subjects, like Intro physics or Intro calculus, don't change too much. So in these cases it's not a bad thing that they "ris[e] like swamp things from the compost of the past", as long as that means the goofs to problem sets are fixed. Logic Rules is correct.

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