Collated Discourses, or what the CD format might tell us about textbooks.

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Compact disc: image from

Like I suspect a lot of schools, my place has a conflicted attitude towards textbooks. We spend a fortune on the things, and more than a few of them go home with pupils, even when they aren’t meant to. Despite this, we don’t really use them; not as a go-to resource for planning lessons. Some of that is because of the standard teacher-guilt that says that a textbook lesson is, by definition, boring and shows that we don’t love our classes enough. However, we all do make quite a bit of use of the other parts of the bought-in scheme of work; the worksheets which have to be downloaded, printed, copied and then somehow attached to pupils’ books. Put like that, it’s all rather odd.

In some ways, it’s the right response to the current situation; as Tim Oates has pointed out, market failure has…

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