In virtually every curriculum, textbooks form a fundamental part of executing the learning process. They are vital features of not only learning but also teaching as a profession all over the world. Mathematics is one of the few universal subjects taught in schools of different levels across the world. Early debates concerning the application of textbooks in class for both learning and teaching of mathematics have since raised numerous questions concerning textbooks as a representation of the chosen curriculum. For this reason, quite a number of learning institutions have prioritized equivocal selection of mathematics textbooks that best suit their preferences. This paper is an examination of three mathematics textbooks publishers (ASM International, Academia Verlag German publisher and Alta Mathematica).
ASM International, previously the American Society for Metals, is an international competitor in the field of publishing and has won numerous awards on the same. Academia Verlag, which is a German publisher specialized in mathematics and physics, is also a close competitor for ASM. Finally, Alta Mathematica is a renowned French antiquarian seller of textbooks on mathematics and other sciences.
Chart for pros and cons for the three publishers
Facts and figures of this research of these three publishers were obtained from an international library. The website also formed a significant part of the sources for this research.
Rationale for the Choice of ASM International
I was particularly impressed by the manner in which examples are provided by this publisher in its books from grade one to eight. As a teacher, I understand the needs and interests of students of all calibers. A class of students comprises of lazy students, intelligent students and most especially slow consumers of knowledge. Having taken this into account, ASM International tries to tabulate its examples in a manner that is easily understood by students. Additionally, the number of examples provided for each concept is efficient to assist students to understand the concept in question. This is important because it does not only cater for the intelligent students but also other students who may not consume information very quickly.
Another important aspect for this publisher is the sizes of its words and figures. They are not too small to hinder reading and yet not too large to make the textbook voluminous. The presentation of the books is very influential to their appeal. Small fonts look congested and do not encourage reading. On the other hand, large fonts appear make the book voluminous and this might be discouraging to some students. In this sense, the presentation of the book cuts across the board the meet the needs of many students. Additionally, the fonts are just the right sizes to be read by even visually impaired students and teachers. It is important to note that these figures and words are presented in visually appealing way to entice students into loving mathematics.
Textbooks from ASM International are relatively the right sizes across the board. This aspect not only encourages the students to enjoy learning from the book but also conserves both production and storage space. It is beyond any reasonable doubt that voluminous books discourage students. Success in mathematics as a subject is majorly dependent on attitude of students. In view of this, ASM International has incorporated this in their production process. As such, it has produced books that are not too voluminous among other aspects that affect the attitude of the student towards mathematics. It is encouraging how ASM International has noted this aspect and has addressed it conclusively.
Examples provided in ASM International textbooks are significantly analogous to the problems tackled by students. This implies that students have a chance of relating the examples provided to the problems to be solved. It is imperative, therefore, to note that these textbooks enable students to have a wider perspective of concepts and a high percentage of mastery. Examples are very important towards understanding any concept, be it mathematics or any other subject. Examples enable the students to relate the concepts they learn to things that occur in their lives. By relating these concepts to daily or life occurrences, they are able to decipher them. Additionally, it teaches the students how to apply these concepts in life in order to solve problems. This is what ASM International offers the students, making it a better publishing house compare to the other two analyzed.
After a comprehensive assessment of the three publishers, I came to a well thought conclusion that ASM International is the best publishing company in terms of providing the students with the exact content they need and presenting the information in an easily accessible and analyzable format. They are sensitive to the needs of all students even in their various handicaps or advantages.
Even though ASM International has some disadvantages like relatively high prices of its books and too many examples, I recommend that textbooks from this publisher are endorsed for the learning of mathematics in our school.