RE: Textbook writing (long)

Subject: RE: Textbook writing (long)
From: Chris Fitzgerald <fitzgerald -at- di -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 11:52:17 -0800

Kevin wrote...
> I'd be interested to know if reputable private
> schools use the same texts as do government schools.
> Or if, using what's available, they review and correct
> them before trying to teach from them.
As a teacher in reputable private schools, I was given the opportunity to choose
the textbooks that we were going to use. They were chosen based upon first, the
State adopted versions, and second, an accelerated version (i.e., the state's
1st grade text was used in our Kindergarten). Out of 4 schools that I taught,
the same was true from elementary to Middle School. Don't know about the High
schools, but pretty confident that grades 9 - 12 were considered strong college
prep. or they wouldn't be open.

The bigger the school, the less feedback the teacher had in choosing the text.

(In such cases, a group of assigned teachers or board of educators chose the
text). Also, each year, only one subject was purchased (e.g.,updating the
entire Reading series for each grade). Another difference from State to private
schools is that each grade might not agree on the publisher, so it can be split
up as long as there was reasonable scope and sequence.

Now, to answer your second question. It is possible to review textbooks for a
lot of things: material covered, design and readability, supplemental material,
etc. But the mistakes that I have found as a teacher using the text and slowly
reading each page a long with (or a day prior) to my students can not be caught
in a review period.

Overall, teachers are able to catch these mistakes and point them out, but it's
not the textbooks that are the problem. It takes a village to raise a child and
no one entity should be blamed for our low standardized tests in the US.

As a technical writer, I work very hard to ensure the accuracy of the material
that I write, but I know that there must be somewhere deep in to my manual that
just may be a little off. Hopefully, it is caught before print, but I'm only
human and 12 hours a day of working is enough, I think!

So, the point is that I need to get back to work, but thought that I could
address your questions.


* Chris Fitzgerald
* Technical Writer -Software Documentation
* Digital Instruments Veeco Metrology Group
* (805)967-1400 ext. 2323
* fitzgerald -at- di -dot- com

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