Greg Forster explains How a Physics Textbook Changed My Life on Jay P. Greene’s Blog.
He starts by disagreeing with Jay Mathews’ claim that textbooks are obsolete. Not all teachers can teach well without a textbook, Forster argues. Take his high school physics teacher, who didn’t use the tetbook.
He spent the whole class illuminating the subject matter in his own highly motivated way, bringing in unusual examples and exploring subtle nuances.
As a result, his teaching was incredibly engaging to the few students who shared his intense interest in the subject, and completely useless to the majority who did not. They needed to be walked through the basics slowly and carefully – sort of the way a textbook does.
One of Forster’s lab mates was completely lost. He offered to help her, starting by urging her to read the textbook and ignore the teacher.
She went from a D to an A.
And you know what? I’m married to that girl today.
Textbooks have their uses, he concludes.
And did you know that As Time Goes By is a physics song? Read to the end of the post for the lyrics.