Sunday, August 27, 2006

Contraband textbooks

Homeschoolers suffered a setback when ebay banned textbooks for teachers and solution manuals from its site. Textbooks are joining a long list of prohibited items on ebay like illegal drugs, reports WND.

A new policy by Internet trading behemoth eBay that bans homeschool teachers' texts from its auctions is prompting a tirade of complaints from the company's faithful customers.
Surely, institutions shouldn't have a monopoly on acquiring these instructional materials.


NYC Educator said...

That's surprising.

Did they do this perhaps to preclude school kids from purchasing teacher editions? That's ridiculous, since they could still get them form the manufacturers.

Also, any kid with that kind of initiative probably doens't need the teacher's edition.

Anyway, I agree the ban is ridiculous.

Instructivist said...

"Also, any kid with that kind of initiative probably doens't need the teacher's edition."

So true!

I can imagine that the teacher's edition can do wonders in the hands of a responsible student, say, in algebra. There, the answers provided can serve to get instant feedback on one's homework. It's so easy to make mistakes in algebra and knowing the correct answer helps the responsible student to identify errors when working out a problem.

In subjects like algebra, teachers should not accept a naked answer for homework. Rather, students must demonstrate that they can work out the problem. So, here at least, having a textbook with answers is a moot point.

Catherine Johnson said...

You can't get teacher editions from the publishers. I've tried.

Parents and students are not allowed to purchase teacher editions.

It's infuriating and offensive.

Catherine Johnson said...

The only way to learn math, for instance, is to do math, check your answers, and then re-do the problems you got wrong.


The math teachers in our school district don't check homework, and don't supply answers.

Catherine Johnson said...

I wrote about my experience trying to purchase a teachers-only spelling book, for pete's sake.

How exactly is a kid going to use a spelling textbook to cheat on a spelling test?

Memorize the answers?

Wouldn't that be learning to spell?

Wouldn't that be the point of giving a spelling test in the first place?

Textbook Evaluator said...

No one can get teachers' editions of textbooks, unless the request comes from a school.

Thus members of the general public cannot get a copy to review for themselves. Organizations that perform independent, rigorous evalutions of textbooks cannot get teachers' editions or copies of the assessments.

The official reason is that somebody (certainly not I) would stand on the corner outside the nearest middle school and make a killing selling the answers to tots.

What is the big deal, for gosh sakes? Is policy to help protect teachers and integrity of instructional materials? Really? Or might it be some other reason?

Usually I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but this one sticks in my craw.