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Will Teachers Need Text Books in the Future?

When most of today’s parents think back to their school days they will recall using text books in the majority of their lessons. Today, online resources are becoming much more common place in schools up and down the land.

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Row of textbooks for various school subjects The future educational landscape for children is changing rapidly. The question arises: Will teachers require textbooks in the future?

A recent study discovered that only one in 10 teachers now employs textbooks in more than half of their lessons, with 92 per cent anticipating the use of online or digital resources in the majority of their lessons by 2020.

Will Future Schoolchildren Rely Solely on Digital Resources?

Does this mean the next generation of schoolchildren will abandon physical books in the classroom? Not necessarily, as sales of physical books have risen in the past year. There remain several advantages to students having a book in hand compared to accessing material online.


Do Textbooks Contribute to Better Educational Results?

The current government is adamant about the continued use of textbooks in classrooms. Schools minister Nick Gibb, in particular, emphasises that countries with superior educational results, such as those in the Far East, attribute part of their success to the extensive use of textbooks.

Advantages of Physical Textbooks

Are there benefits to using textbooks? Here are five reasons why teachers still utilise physical textbooks:

  1. Textbooks are industry-approved – written by qualified teachers and education experts, approved school textbooks can be relied upon to contain relevant material for the National Curriculum.
  2. Learning to make notes from textbooks is a crucial skill – the logical layout of physical books aids in essay research and revision, essential skills for university studies.
  3. Students can remember specific passages and graphics from textbooks – research indicates that students retain information better with textbooks, aiding them in exams.
  4. Textbooks are structured for easy information retrieval – the chronological order facilitates finding relevant information, a feature lacking in digital downloads.
  5. Some textbooks include DVDs with extra teaching aids – providing both a physical reference and online interactive learning materials.


Disadvantages of Physical Textbooks

Stack of school textbooks for various subjects

Examining the drawbacks of physical textbooks, there are reasons why they might continue to decline:

  1. They are one-dimensional – online resources are interactive and more engaging for children, proving more beneficial in some cases.
  2. They are expensive – diminishing school budgets could be better spent on free or lower-cost online resources.
  3. Textbooks quickly become outdated – changes to the curriculum or developments in subjects necessitate frequent updates, easily accomplished online.
  4. Modern life is becoming more digitally-oriented – the future sees young people researching online, making physical books less likely to be consulted.
  5. Physical books are bulky and heavy – the difficulty of carrying textbooks poses a challenge, whereas online resources are accessible anywhere without weight concerns.

So, will teachers need textbooks in the future? It seems likely for now, but long-term changes may be on the horizon.

Do you have questions about education, the National Curriculum, or special educational needs? Find answers on our Knowledge Bank page. Additionally, explore valuable advice for parents on protecting children from bullying, building confidence, and facilitating learning during school holidays. It's a valuable tool for any parent – why not take a look?


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