Textbooks are fundamental instruments of learning in our schools. The underlying argument of quality assurance is not based on the textbooks in general but on the specific textbook upon which a school and the subject teacher use as the course book. As a matter of importance, a teacher should consider the choice of books he or she uses to teach. Therefore, as part of the school textbook committee, a textbook selection program should be carried out in order to evaluate the best textbook that can be used for the Math Curriculum. Three Math textbook samples from different publishers, Edexcel AS & A Mathematics, Macmillan Mathematics Series and Singapore Math Series were evaluated in order to get a comparatively good Math text course book.
Information about the three textbooks was collected in terms of textbook pros and cons. The information was then arranged in a table as below.
This section explains the pros and cons of the available textbooks from which a course book is to be selected. One of the advantages of the Edexel AS $ A Math textbook is that it is endowed with several worked examples. These worked examples assist learners in practicing mathematical problems thereby being familiar with the subject. The textbook gives series of worked sum examples vividly explained within the scope of the relevant unit and course syllabus as a whole. However, bit of the disadvantages of these books are equally discussed. For example, Singapore Math course book mandates a lot of practical. This even makes the course book quite unique from others textbooks. Singapore Math course captures the practical basis of Math course and therefore much of the book content in explain in practical format that requires that a teacher using it as a course book much ensure much of the practical in it are done. This is so because authors of the book wanted to depict the practicality of math course but to the interest of the learner. Therefore, for the students do well with the book, they must apply the practicals given in the book. This is a disadvantage since it will be expensive on the school to purchase the practical equipments required such as dot dyes, unit measurement equipment, mathematics set boxes and many others. It will also require more time to complete the syllabus because of inclusion of practicals.
Reasons for choosing Macmillan math textbooks
Macmillan math textbook is the preferred course book for various reasons that outweigh the other books and its disadvantages. Macmillan textbook is simple to use and understand for the students with simple grammatical composition. The textbook also meets the required quality assurance standards both in content of knowledge and syllabus coverage. This is the basic reason as per the ministry of education that is satisfied by the Macmillan math textbook. Other reasons include; the textbook does not require other source supports such as electronic devices, it has several practical samples that gives the students good practice, and Macmillan publishers take a reasonable time span within which they revise their course books thereby making their books not expensive, limiting chances of buying the same course books more than once within the same annual class.
Justification of Choice of Textbook made; Macmillan Math Course Book
After examining of different textbooks considered, Macmillan Mathematics textbook is picked as the best textbook to be used as the class course for all the students. This decision is reached after exploring the role of a course textbook upon clearly noticing the composition of the students, taking into consideration the students with special needs and general students. This decision is also made with a clear understanding of an existing relationship between textbook coverage and the content that should be presented in class with reference to the course guidebook.
For instance, if the textbook covers what should be covered, then in that case, the teacher will be comfortable using the book and only supports it with examples. However, in a case where it is the reverse, that is to say, the book does not cover what should be covered for the course in that particular period, then, the teacher will have to work tiresomely to top up. This situation becomes worse off when the remaining syllabus coverage missing out of the book is left at the peril of the student. Therefore, chosen book, Macmillan Math textbook, was so taken because the content of the book matched the learning objectives of the course.
The choice of the book was also made because the book’s presentation style was very consistent with the teacher and the students would more consistently learn. Math is a practical course, therefore, presentations in terms of graphs, charts, tables, and mathematical figures is best presented in the book. Therefore, this text is selected based on its best presentation style.
The textbook can also preferred for other reasons such as the textbook is cost reasonable, students like the presentations in the textbook and sample problems in each chapter of the book provides a good learning experience for the students. A good course book should be cheap or be of a reasonable price that is affordable by both the students for their own practice and the school as well. The textbook sample problems for each chapter are easy and interesting thereby motivates students enough to work and enjoy learning. Students’ attitude is a great determinant in performers of students in a course, both in learning and in grading. Whenever students are motivated to use a textbook because of its content and easier use, learning becomes enjoyable for them.
Lastly, Macmillan textbook is chosen since it is reasonably free from typographical errors and the publishers of the book take quite a reasonable period between new editions. When the publishers of a book give a recommendable time span upon which they revise the books, then it makes it easy for such a book to be used as a course book since the school and students will not regularly renew their copies. A good course should also have as minimal errors as possible. These reasons therefore, justify Macmillan Math textbook as the best book to be used in school as the course book for the teacher and all students.
A good course textbook should be one that can easily be used by all students in a class. The textbook above all, should be easy to understand with simple diagrams and one to which its derivation of formulas is consistent and in steps. This will equip the students with the basic knowledge of formula origins rather than mastering the concepts and formulas. Therefore, when choosing a course book, the teacher should understand the complexities of choosing a good textbook for the course and all students.