. . . if all schools could be persuaded to switch to one of the top quartile (math) textbooks, student achievement would rise overall by roughly .127 student-level standard deviations or an average of 3.6 percentile points. Although it might sound small, such a boost in the average teacher’s effectiveness would be larger than the improvement the typical teacher experiences in their first three years on the job, as they are just learning to teach.
Identifying “more effective curriculum materials can yield outsized bang-for-the-buck, because schools are already buying textbooks and better textbooks do not cost more on average than less effective ones,” notes Kane.
Educators are turning to free, open-source texts — with backing from the U.S. Education Department, writes Hechinger’s Nichole Dobo.
At an event tagged as the #GoOpen Exchange, the department praised pioneering educators who were working to upend the traditional model of textbooks and materials. To assist with that work, the Department of Education has recruited a full roster of supporters, both public and private, including Amazon Education, Microsoft and Edmoto.
The Department unveiled a website, the Learning Registry, to help teachers find free textbooks and materials.
However, identifying which non-traditional materials help students learn is a huge, time-consuming job for teachers.
I’ll add that my husband is updating his computer engineering textbook. It takes many hours of work to do it well. He hopes to be paid for his labors. I don’t see how we’re going to get high-quality learning materials without compensating the writer/developers.