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Textbook Analysis

Amanda Guernsey

Jo-ne Bourassa

February 13, 2006


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Math 54: An Incremental Development is the text used

by one of Mrs. Powell’s special education student’s. This

student is involved in the inclusion process, which means

that this student leaves Mrs. Powell’s self-contained

classroom to be included in a fifth grade math class. The

author of this textbook states that “We study mathematics

because it is an important part of our daily lives. Our

school schedule, our trip to the store, the preparation of

our meals, and many of the games we play all involve

mathematics. This book was written with the hope that more

students will learn mathematics and learn it well” (Saxon,

xi).

Teachers are sometimes asked to evaluate textbooks;

this is one way for them to determine whether the text is

appropriate for the grade level being taught. In Mrs.

Powell’s student’s situation the text is only appropriate

if the teacher follows her IEP. This form contains and

states information about her disability and what

accommodations she may need in order to succeed in her math

class. The accommodations she may receive include a

teacher or teacher’s assistant present at the time of the

class, a calculator, number charts, multiplication and

division tables, extended time to complete assignments,

quizzes or tests, and shortened assignments. Regular


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education teachers along side special education teachers

must ask themselves certain questions in evaluating the

text: Where does knowledge originate and how does the

textbook address this question? Who is the authority: the

book, the teacher, the student, or some combination? What

is missing from the table of contents? What could or

should have been included to make the text more complete,

more diverse, and more representative?

Knowledge originates from both the text and the

teacher. The text contains the knowledge while the teacher

teaches the knowledge that the book contains. The teacher

uses the book to create lesson plans that are appropriate

for the grade level. She has to explain any example in a

way that she knows her students will understand. The book

may contain the knowledge, but someone has to teach the

knowledge to the students.

The second question that must be answered when

evaluating a text is who the authority is: the book, the

teacher, the student, or some combination. In looking over

this math book I feel that the authority is a combination

of the book, the teacher, and the student. The book

contains the knowledge as I stated before and the teacher

teaches that knowledge, but the student has a part as well.

The student absorbs the knowledge and knows his or her


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limitations as whether they are getting the information or

not and at that point they are the authority. The student

must then communicate that they need more help on a subject

or are ready to move on to the next subject.

When you evaluate the textbook, the teacher must

examine the table of contents: what is missing and what

could or should be included in the table of contents. In

my examination of the table of contents I do not believe

anything is missing. Although, I do feel that the table of

contents should be categorized differently then being

divided into lessons. In order to find a certain kind of

math problem feel that the lessons under the table of

contents should be categorized into meaningful sections;

for example, the lessons could be categorized under

properties of numbers, human applications, or equations.

In conclusion of this textbook analysis, I have

learned the correct way to evaluate texts. Where does

knowledge originate and how does the textbook address this

question? Who is the authority: the book, the teacher, the

student, or some combination? What is missing from the

table of contents? What could or should have been included

to make the text more complete, more diverse, and more

representative? These questions were confusing to me when

the assignment was first assigned, but after receiving the


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book and getting to look through it and talking to the

teacher about the student using this book the questions

started making sense. When I become a teacher I hope these

questions help me in the same way and in more ways in

evaluating the text to see if it is appropriate for the

grade level I teach.


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