Friday, August 25, 2006

My Very Educated Mother....

This is rather timely since the Oklahoma school textbooks most recently under review were the Science, Technology, and Math topics...

From C|Net : Textbook publishers grapple with Pluto demotions
If you're looking for the most accurate information about the solar system, the Internet trumps science textbooks.

Once upon a time, Pluto was a planet. Then it maybe wasn't a planet. Then it was a planet, but only if somewhere between three and 100 other chunks of space rock were counted as planets. And now, finally, a conclusion has been reached thanks to new standards devised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU): Pluto isn't a planet. It's a "dwarf planet," as opposed to a "classical planet" like its eight former brethren.

Such fundamental changes to what kids are taught don't happen very often. It's like dropping Australia off the list of continents. Wikipedia got the change right away. So did other Internet resources. Now try correcting the millions of science textbooks, standardized tests, films and even solar system models that will be used in a classroom this fall.

"It's so significant because this is one of those times where it's a subject that reaches all grade levels," said Rebecca Bondor, vice president and editor-in-chief of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which publishes 23 magazines geared to kindergarten through 12th grade educational audiences. "Children from first grade on up are going to be relearning some very huge things that they learned before."

No matter how quickly a publisher can roll out new editions of its earth science, astronomy, or general science texts, tight state educational budgets complicate the situation. A state's department of education will typically order new course materials every five or six years, said David Hakensen, vice president of public relations at Pearson Education. Since Pearson has no plans to offer physical updates to its existing texts--such as stickers or supplemental pages--the states that ordered new science textbooks for the impending academic year most likely won't be getting new, eight-planet versions for another half decade.

No comments: