In an attempt to engage students, the New York City system is considering the use of open educational resources, which are referred to as open textbooks (“Open textbooks, in more ways than one: Save money and increase educational diversity with high-quality, up-to-date, learning options,” New York Daily News, June 29). The idea is that when students see themselves reflected in their textbooks, they will be more likely to succeed.
I understand the intent, but I wonder if using open textbooks at this time is going to serve as indoctrination. Let me explain. When young people are exposed to instructional material that hasn’t been properly vetted, they have no basis for evaluating what they read, see, or hear. Social media are the best example. There is no context – only opinion. Traditional textbooks for all their faults at least have been reviewed before being adopted.
Open textbooks will likely present only one side of current issues. That’s not education; it’s indoctrination.
(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)