How beneficial are School Textbooks?

School Textbooks are usually overlooked when considering the benefits of education in schools. Focus is placed on the newest government curriculum being introduced in schools or the teachers themselves and how they are impacting on the education of young people. But what do we actually know about how school textbooks are written and by who? They are a key tool used in schools and even bought by parents for use at home with the intention of helping students study and to point them in the right direction when revising for their exams.


A question that needs to be asked is whether school textbooks focus more on students simply passing exams or if they aim to give a broader and more general understanding of the subject? The very purpose of textbooks is to guide students in the right direction and help them in their studies means they are all curriculum focused. The main aim is to get students to pass their exams and get the best grade possible. But is this merely about league tables and statistics rather than giving students a general understanding and hopefully a love of the subject?


Who is qualified enough to write these textbooks? They have the power to influence what students learn and focus on when they revise for their exams and begin studying for their GCSE’s, so we need to be sure the right things are being published to avoid students being misled or discouraged in their studies. We don’t want some one who has little experience or knowledge of the subject to be writing a textbook for it. Someone unenthusiastic and uninterested about the subject will never be able to portray enough interest across to the student reading it.


As it stands, academics, highly qualified teachers, and lectures on education are generally the people who are involved in putting together and writing textbooks for students, but we never actually know who has final say and influence over it! By being governed by curriculums the writers have little say themselves over what they include, but the real problem is how students are reading and learning from textbooks that might be beneficial for their exams but not beneficial for giving them a general understanding which would be better to help them gain a broader basis on which they can then make decisions about their future.


Textbooks can vary, there are many different types to choose from in the shops and it is easy to understand how they can be lifelines fro students that need extra help and a revision guide or textbook to look at in their own time. They can be great to help with exam revision, as specific textbooks focus on specific exams so its easy to learn just exactly what you need to get the highest marks possible. But shouldn’t schools and teachers try to give students a good understanding of the subject rather than to simply revise some facts from a textbook?

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