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"Ladd, Barbara" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 5 Jan 2011 13:06:39 -0500
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A colleague of mine wondered about the ideology of an edition like the one Alan is doing. I don't know, but speculate that it may be "textbookery" at work. This edition has something of the "textbook"-ideology behind it. In other words, the idea that what is put in writing and presented to students ought to have been vetted by committee and be "approved by the [in this case, moral] authorities."

In English departments we don't use "textbooks" in the sense I mean, at least not exclusively, and I've wondered whether history, sociology, science, mathematics, and so on might not be better taught without so much reliance on "textbooks." In other words, teach from the documents, notebooks, case reports, etc. that make up the real literature of a discipline. Of course I realize this is impractical for some purposes, but it does seem to me that if students were not so habituated to getting their course materials "sanitized," they might be better prepared to read literature....and a lot of other things.


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