Best teachers in the world are more likely to use textbooks, government adviser claims

Children learn better using textbooks than viewing information on-screen, says expert

The best teachers from around the world are more likely to use textbooks in the classroom, according to a government adviser on the curriculum.

Tim Oates, group director of assessment research and development at Cambridge Assessment, who led the government’s review of the national curriculum in England, is calling for textbooks to be used more widely in the country’s schools.

In a seminar on the importance of using textbooks today, Mr Oates will say that support for using textbooks in the classroom is most likely to come from the best teachers in top performing jurisdictions around the world.

The government, most notably through schools minister Nick Gibb, is actively pressing the case for the use of “high-quality” textbooks, which it believes could dramatically lighten teachers’ onerous workload.

‘Giving up on textbooks’

The teaching workforce has steadily moved away from using textbooks in schools, not least because of the constant changing of the national curriculum.

Mr Oates is expected to say that textbooks would not necessarily require “state approval”, and do not necessarily need to be purely in paper form.

But last week, Mr Oates penned a piece for TES stating that children learn better using books rather than viewing information on-screen.

“The tactile and physical experience of reading a book can embed memories of the content more securely. And in terms of focusing attention, textbooks do not wait to receive that next email or tweet,” he wrote.

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