Some educators today believe that books for learning purposes are becoming obsolete. They claim that shorter chunks of material like academic articles or Web posts are the preferred way to supplement student learning. Although new formats offer digital as well as print format, books continue to play a significant role in learning by providing valuable information to meet important learning needs.
In addition to classroom instruction, books provide a wide variety of information from various sources to broaden a student’s learning perspective. Typically, instructors assign one or more textbooks as required or recommended to teach a particular aspect of the subject matter. For example, a Spanish language class might require a textbook about Hispanic culture, or a math class could be assigned a book on the history of evolution of algebra through classic mathematicians. Textbooks often provide a rich overview of important elements of a certain class or discipline that are critical to understanding the course objectives.
Books also help to supplement instruction rather than serve as the main source of instruction. An English class might assign a grammar handbook or a collection of contemporary published article as samples to supplement composition techniques. Additional textbooks provide alternate points of view to give students a broader range of perspective. They may include pros and cons on a topic. Learning practices, activities, and exercises encourage the implementation of material that has been taught. Many textbooks are oriented to specific courses or disciplines and publish supplemental materials like terminology and definitions, case studies, principles, bibliographies, maps, graphs, charts, timelines, photographs, artwork, and indices. An instructor’s time in the classroom can be spent lecturing from his or her professional knowledge while entrusting the supplemental information to electronic or print books.
Critical Thinking Tool
Listening to classroom lectures is one way to learn, but not everyone is an aural learner. Looking at PowerPoint slides or microscope specimens utilizes the sensory skill of sight, but again, not all students learn their best through viewing subject material. It has been argued by education experts that the highest form of learning relies on the imagination. In an academic context, textbook learning can potentially teach using Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, which emphasizes higher order thinking skills – including analyzing and evaluation – as a more effect learning approach than lower order skills, such as rote memorization and recall. A well-developed textbook can stimulate the higher order thinking skills to promote deep learning rather than superficial memory use only.
Although e-textbooks are growing in popularity and serve as a convenient option for many students, hardback or softback print textbooks are still widely used and often preferred by college students. Carrying textbooks to and from class are a physical, tangible reminder of the learning experience. Since books must usually be bought or rented for a course, this provides another form of monetary and academic investment to encourage student responsibility in their courses and educational commitment. Books can help to bridge the abstract ideas presented by an instructor in the classroom and the student’s cognition process of making sense and applying those ideas to meaningful learning.
Some textbooks provide an enjoyable leisure activity as well as formal learning experience. For example, great literary works like novels, poetry, and drama along with classic essays by brilliant experts offer escape from structured classroom time to a relaxed and comfortable approach to college study that is meaningful in its own right, both for academic enhancement and for individual exploration of complex ideas.
Bibliophiles, or book lovers, passionately believe that books are forever. Nothing can replace the feel of a bound collection of printed pages resting in their hands or on a desk. Even reading from a computer screen, iPad, or cell phone offers an in-depth opportunity to consider the viewpoints of other people, especially those who are informed or experienced in specific ways. At Books Run, students can find an extensive assortment of course-specific textbooks, supplemental textbooks, and more general reading for pleasure or course support. With numerous world-renowned authors and publishers to choose from, along with various editions and many disciplines, students can get the books they need for college courses along with fun and interesting reading material for personal use. Books contribute to the human condition of daily life as well as our millennia-old acquisition of knowledge, so we should keep reading for purpose and pleasure.