Total Posts:29|Showing Posts:1-29
Jump to topic:

The Reliability of Textbooks

nonentity
Posts: 5,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 11:54:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not at all reliable and 10 being completely reliable, how reliable would you say your textbooks are/were? How does the reliability of a textbook vary between different subjects? What factors do you think influence your likelihood to trust a source presented to you in a classroom?
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 11:56:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
really depends on the subject.

Math - 10
Science - 8.5
History - 7 (they leave a lot out of the textbooks, but they have to if you want it in a single book)
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 12:03:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Generally, I view textbooks as being a less reliable tool for learning, since they emphasize more of memorization of facts, knowledge, or processes, but if I were to give them a rating:

English textbooks-9 (English classes are more based on interpretation, rather than knowledge, and can be reasonably well-rounded in giving students the application of certain skills)
Math (algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, &ct.)-8
Science (biology, chemistry, physics, and so on)-8
History-7 (Although they do leave out a) many different interpretations of history, events, and so on, I find history textbooks to be mostly reliable)
Foreign Languages-6.5
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 12:56:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 12:51:42 PM, nonentity wrote:
I'm surprised History got such a high rating. In terms of reliability I would give History a 2 at most.

Why? Is it because of the fact that they present a dominant view of history, or &ct?
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
LeafRod
Posts: 1,548
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 2:40:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 12:03:29 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Generally, I view textbooks as being a less reliable tool for learning, since they emphasize more of memorization of facts, knowledge, or processes, but if I were to give them a rating:

That's hilariously idiotic. In basically every field you need a basic grip of facts before you can do anything. Textbooks provide these.

Rating math textbooks (in general) anything less than like 9.5 if not 10 is also nonsense. A math textbooks (and most textbooks) are perfectly reliable for what they are meant to do. If you're expecting a textbook to teach you how to think and take over the role of a teacher or your own thought then you're misinterpreting the question.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 2:45:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 2:40:49 PM, LeafRod wrote:
At 9/7/2011 12:03:29 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Generally, I view textbooks as being a less reliable tool for learning, since they emphasize more of memorization of facts, knowledge, or processes, but if I were to give them a rating:

That's hilariously idiotic. In basically every field you need a basic grip of facts before you can do anything. Textbooks provide these.
I wrote, "I view textbooks as being as being a less reliable tool for learning"...I never questioned that they provided a basic grip of facts. But even so, that doesn't make it entirely reliably. If you want, I'll make my score for the math textbook a ten, if you're going to call my posts hilariously idiotic because of how I view textbooks.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 2:48:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 12:03:29 PM, Man-is-good wrote:

Math (algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, &ct.)-10
English textbooks-9 (English classes are more based on interpretation, rather than knowledge, and can be reasonably well-rounded in giving students the application of certain skills)
Science (biology, chemistry, physics, and so on)-8
History-7 (Although they do leave out a) many different interpretations of history, events, and so on, I find history textbooks to be mostly reliable)
Foreign Languages-6.5

Leafrod might be right about the math-textbooks, but I wonder if he objects to any of my other critiques on the 'reliability of textbooks'.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
000ike
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 2:50:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 12:51:42 PM, nonentity wrote:
I'm surprised History got such a high rating. In terms of reliability I would give History a 2 at most.

lol why? Don't tell me its the old subjective perspective story. From the history books I have read, they supply you with the facts and nothing more. They give in depth and unbiased accounts of historical incidences and their meaning.

History: 9

Math: 6 (most just inundate you with problems and practices without really focusing on the concept to be learned, and teaching and explaining that concept)

Science: 10 (perfection, and entirely factual)

Of course these are just generalizations, they speak for books I have read anyway.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:01:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 2:40:49 PM, LeafRod wrote:
Rating math textbooks (in general) anything less than like 9.5 if not 10 is also nonsense. A math textbooks (and most textbooks) are perfectly reliable for what they are meant to do.
So math textbooks only need to outline basic facts, concepts, and processes? If so, do you support the use of other techniques along with that of textbooks?

If you're expecting a textbook to teach you how to think and take over the role of a teacher or your own thought then you're misinterpreting the question.

Okay....So basically in your view the teacher fills the position whereas the textbook gives the basic facts, the teacher teaches how to use and apply them....or something like that.

I wonder what happens when the teacher assumes the role of giving the basic facts and teaching students how to apply them to certain cases.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:06:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:01:03 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/7/2011 2:40:49 PM, LeafRod wrote:
Rating math textbooks (in general) anything less than like 9.5 if not 10 is also nonsense. A math textbooks (and most textbooks) are perfectly reliable for what they are meant to do.
So math textbooks only need to outline basic facts, concepts, and processes? If so, do you support the use of other techniques along with that of textbooks?

If you're expecting a textbook to teach you how to think and take over the role of a teacher or your own thought then you're misinterpreting the question.

Okay....So basically in your view the teacher fills the position whereas the textbook gives the basic facts, the teacher teaches how to use and apply them....or something like that.
Note that this was inferred, if you believe that the textbook provides basic facts. If I'm wrong about what you believe, then please tell me about the role of the teacher that you perceive as in the education system.

I wonder what happens when the teacher assumes the role of giving the basic facts and teaching students how to apply them to certain cases.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:07:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 2:50:39 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 12:51:42 PM, nonentity wrote:
I'm surprised History got such a high rating. In terms of reliability I would give History a 2 at most.

lol why? Don't tell me its the old subjective perspective story. From the history books I have read, they supply you with the facts and nothing more. They give in depth and unbiased accounts of historical incidences and their meaning.


If two people's accounts of the same event can be completely contradictory, then that is the very definition of unreliable. Korea and China will have history textbooks with completely different views, written with completely different biases. What makes you think your history textbooks are written without bias?

History: 9

Math: 6 (most just inundate you with problems and practices without really focusing on the concept to be learned, and teaching and explaining that concept)

Science: 10 (perfection, and entirely factual)

Of course these are just generalizations, they speak for books I have read anyway.

How can you rate History as more reliable than Math? In terms of elementary and secondary school, Math might be the only subject consistent around the world.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:17:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:07:13 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 9/7/2011 2:50:39 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 12:51:42 PM, nonentity wrote:
I'm surprised History got such a high rating. In terms of reliability I would give History a 2 at most.

lol why? Don't tell me its the old subjective perspective story. From the history books I have read, they supply you with the facts and nothing more. They give in depth and unbiased accounts of historical incidences and their meaning.

You're exaggerating quite a bit don't you think? A history book will tell you that Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States. In his term he did A, B, and C. There is no room for subjective commentary as this is an entirely fact based replay of what indeed happened. Why would you be inclined to believe that Johnson did not do A,B and C? If the book states that he did A,B, and C and that was good,....then that would make the book subjective and thus unreliable. You don't see that good/bad bias in many textbooks

If two people's accounts of the same event can be completely contradictory, then that is the very definition of unreliable. Korea and China will have history textbooks with completely different views, written with completely different biases. What makes you think your history textbooks are written without bias?

History: 9

Math: 6 (most just inundate you with problems and practices without really focusing on the concept to be learned, and teaching and explaining that concept)

Science: 10 (perfection, and entirely factual)

Of course these are just generalizations, they speak for books I have read anyway.

How can you rate History as more reliable than Math? In terms of elementary and secondary school, Math might be the only subject consistent around the world.

Reliable? oh. Well math is a 10 on reliable. I guess I was rating on quality.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:27:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Revised List:
Math-10 [Apart from my disagreements with how math textbooks are formatted, they are often pristine clear and well-written]
Science-10 [Cogent and to the point]
English-9
History-7
Foreign Languages-6.5
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
000ike
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:29:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:27:12 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Foreign Languages-6.5

That makes 0 sense. If a foreign language textbook does not provide universal information that is entirely fact-based and reliable, then you do not learn the language! For foreign language textbooks to be as unreliable as that would be counter-intuitive.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:31:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:29:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:27:12 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Foreign Languages-6.5

That makes 0 sense. If a foreign language textbook does not provide universal information that is entirely fact-based and reliable, then you do not learn the language! For foreign language textbooks to be as unreliable as that would be counter-
intuitive.

I agree that foreign languages provide a basic set of facts, but knowledge of grammar and sentence structure (and so on) does not equate to fluency in the language.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
000ike
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:36:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:31:27 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:29:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:27:12 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Foreign Languages-6.5

That makes 0 sense. If a foreign language textbook does not provide universal information that is entirely fact-based and reliable, then you do not learn the language! For foreign language textbooks to be as unreliable as that would be counter-
intuitive.

I agree that foreign languages provide a basic set of facts, but knowledge of grammar and sentence structure (and so on) does not equate to fluency in the language.

yeah, thats where, dare I say it, P.....R.....A.....C....T....I.....C...E comes in..... The reliability of a textbook is solely dependent on its ability to fulfill its intended purpose. A book cannot and is not intended to make you fluent in a language, it is intended to inform you on how to speak the language, whereas the fluency comes with practice. If fluency is not even a part of the book's duty, then how can it be as unreliable as a 6.5?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:39:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree that history books are unreliable, but to be fair its impossible to interpret history without a strong understanding of economics, sociology, and psychology. I suppose they could try to show history from many different perspectives. The history books tend to be unkind to capitalism.

For, example I looked back at my old book on the Great Depression. Not one mention that the Great Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve and the contraction of the money supply. There's also the fact that Hoover is shown as a do nothing president, which is blatantly false.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:40:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:36:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:31:27 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:29:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:27:12 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
Foreign Languages-6.5

That makes 0 sense. If a foreign language textbook does not provide universal information that is entirely fact-based and reliable, then you do not learn the language! For foreign language textbooks to be as unreliable as that would be counter-
intuitive.

I agree that foreign languages provide a basic set of facts, but knowledge of grammar and sentence structure (and so on) does not equate to fluency in the language.

yeah, thats where, dare I say it, P.....R.....A.....C....T....I.....C...E comes in..... The reliability of a textbook is solely dependent on its ability to fulfill its intended purpose. A book cannot and is not intended to make you fluent in a language, it is intended to inform you on how to speak the language, whereas the fluency comes with practice. If fluency is not even a part of the book's duty, then how can it be as unreliable as a 6.5?

Alright, I'll concede on that...my views of education are incomplete, though I still give it a lower grade than history due to the complications of language. Language is acknowledged to have complications, and a single book or host of textbooks can't capture all those complications...do you agree?

I'll give history an 8 and foreign languages a 7....
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:45:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'll also give my old psychology book a massive fail. My favorite part is that they concluded in a study (survey) that men tend to have more sex then girls. WHO ARE THEY HAVING SEX WITH!!! I think Stifler puts it best "take the number that women said that had sex with, multiple it by 3 and that's the real answer"
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 3:51:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:45:32 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I'll also give my old psychology book a massive fail. My favorite part is that they concluded in a study (survey) that men tend to have more sex then girls. WHO ARE THEY HAVING SEX WITH!!! I think Stifler puts it best "take the number that women said that had sex with, multiple it by 3 and that's the real answer"

I expect some of the books on social sciences [economics, history, psychology, and so on] to be flawed in the presentation of its subject.

And as a second note, how do psychology classes present lessons, other than in the form of studies and surveys?
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 4:04:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:51:03 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/7/2011 3:45:32 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I'll also give my old psychology book a massive fail. My favorite part is that they concluded in a study (survey) that men tend to have more sex then girls. WHO ARE THEY HAVING SEX WITH!!! I think Stifler puts it best "take the number that women said that had sex with, multiple it by 3 and that's the real answer"

I expect some of the books on social sciences [economics, history, psychology, and so on] to be flawed in the presentation of its subject.

I expect that psychology is not as developed as the other sciences. I don't expect it to go retarded on me.

And as a second note, how do psychology classes present lessons, other than in the form of studies and surveys?

I've only taken it in high school. The do show a few studies. However, many of them are just really flawed as the one above shows. And some ideas don't even really have scientific backing. Freud comes to mind. Not that some of his theories aren't bad, but a lot of it is utter bullsh!t. I was considering combing behavior theory with (sexual) oral fixation at the toddler level in my AP essay, but I chickened out.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2011 4:12:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 4:04:17 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I expect that psychology is not as developed as the other sciences. I don't expect it to go retarded on me.
I'd expect that too...I consistently consider the opinions of psychologists to be ridiculous. The notorious McMartin Preschool trials comes to mind: therapist Kee MacFarlane somehow managed to interpret that (two examples of their interpretations): drawings of stick figures with hands represent child molest, and a child's dislike of tuna fish=exposure to vaginal odors [1] http://law2.umkc.edu...


I've only taken it in high school. The do show a few studies. However, many of them are just really flawed as the one above shows. And some ideas don't even really have scientific backing. Freud comes to mind. Not that some of his theories aren't bad, but a lot of it is utter bullsh!t. I was considering combing behavior theory with (sexual) oral fixation at the toddler level in my AP essay, but I chickened out.

I wonder which of Freud's theories are fallacious...I do know that his method of interpretation of dreams is famous, but not much about his theories about behavior and sexual orientation.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2011 3:41:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Math - 10
English - 9
Geography - 7
History - 4
Chemistry - 8
Biology - 6
Physics - 7
Human Anatomy - 9
Philosophy - 8
Social Studies - 6
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2011 3:46:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 4:12:24 PM, Man-is-good wrote:

I wonder which of Freud's theories are fallacious...I do know that his method of interpretation of dreams is famous, but not much about his theories about behavior and sexual orientation.

His better theories involves defense mechanisms and subconscious desires. There's strong evidence to support that. What really gets fallible is his theory about sex, namely the sexually theories of development (oral, anal, phallical, plutonic,sexual) and the Oedipus complex. Both have no real bases on reality.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2011 4:27:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/8/2011 3:46:58 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 9/7/2011 4:12:24 PM, Man-is-good wrote:

I wonder which of Freud's theories are fallacious...I do know that his method of interpretation of dreams is famous, but not much about his theories about behavior and sexual orientation.

His better theories involves defense mechanisms and subconscious desires. There's strong evidence to support that. What really gets fallible is his theory about sex, namely the sexually theories of development (oral, anal, phallical, plutonic,sexual) and the Oedipus complex. Both have no real bases on reality.

Well, according to my Freud, the Oedipus complex "denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy's desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Criticism of it includes the fact that while parent-child conflict has been recorded, and noted, little to none of it is realized or instigated by 'repression' or stimulation of sexual desire for possession...(Martin Daly, Margo Wilson Homicide (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1988), and as you stated, it doesn't really seem to manifest in today's society...

As for the " sexually theories of development (oral, anal, phallical, plutonic,sexual)", I suppose that is the psychosexual development proposed by Freud? And isn't the Oedipus complex part of that development?
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2011 5:06:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/7/2011 3:45:32 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I'll also give my old psychology book a massive fail. My favorite part is that they concluded in a study (survey) that men tend to have more sex then girls. WHO ARE THEY HAVING SEX WITH!!! I think Stifler puts it best "take the number that women said that had sex with, multiple it by 3 and that's the real answer"

hey.. maybe they're sexin' each other.... :P

anyway, if i remember correctly, one of my history books told me that christopher columbus was the first to discover america. BS.

depends on the book, but plenty of them are filled with propaganda. psychology books can also be very bias depending on the viewpoints of the authors. i could say the same most likely about theoretical science, art, economics and plenty of other subjects. the less objective the subject, the less objective the books will be.
WAKE UP AND READ THIS: http://www.debate.org...
ravi_limaye
Posts: 18
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2011 8:46:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I believe that the books reliability is much better than verbal interactions. This is because author usually double checks the facts being printed. However, the content assembly , presentation, relevance target audience are various issues . A true learner should learn from classics, reference books and the other books to supplement and reenforce learning