Re: Textbook writing

Subject: Re: Textbook writing
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 10:37:09 -0800

Herman Holtz wrote:

> I am glad to find that another individual has found reason to believe
> that teachers can and do write text books, as I did in researching my book,
> The Complete Guide to Consulting Contracts. -- Herm

Actually, it depends on the level of the textbook. University
textbooks are generally written by academics. For tenure-track
professors who are interested in teaching, they're a reasonably
painless way of fulfilling their publication quota. Given the
writers' backgrounds, these texts are usually high-quality.

By contrast, high school texts are often written by professional
writers or by grad students who need money. Since the writers are
paid for quick results and unprotected by tenure, the texts are
often subject to the political whim of the moment. For example, a
number of American biology textbooks bow to the creationists by
presenting evolution as either a hypothesis or by not mentioning it
at all. Under these conditions, the results are often sub-standard.

Bruce Byfield, Progeny Linux Systems
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

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