A “Textbook” Case of Outdated Information


Textbooks can be heavy, burdensome, and are often damaged and outdated, making them ineffective in many cases.

Every year when school starts, students are burdened when teachers begin to hand out dreaded textbooks. They’re often large and cumbersome weights to bear, but in some classes, students might not even touch them throughout the entire year. Then, those few times a year when teachers need them, the information can be outdated or there is a missing page, making it difficult to use the textbooks effectively.

According to Scholastic, “Besides cost, traditional paper textbooks have other disadvantages. They are easily damaged, and their subject matter can become outdated or obsolete in just a few years. And any student can testify to how textbooks are heavy and inconvenient to carry around.”

This also outlines that textbooks can be expensive, meaning that many schools don’t have the funds to have updated textbooks in the timeliness that is required to have good information.

AP US Government and Civics teacher David Meisinger said, “AP books become outdated quickly. AP Government went through a complete redesign last year. In addition, using elections and stats that are eight years old is not really relevant.”

This lack of information led him to a decision to buy supplemental books so that the students could have updated facts and statistics that could prove vital to the AP test that they will take in the spring.

The books he uses right now for AP Government are from 2016, while the books he uses for his civics classes are almost twenty years old; this gap since the most recent update, even for the 2016 AP text, creates a wide gap in relevant information that does little to aid in the education for the students.

Rhonda Sorenson, who teaches social studies classes, including AP Human Geography, said, “It would be great to get new textbooks when the old textbooks are no longer supported with extra resources for classroom use like online access to texts, quizzes, study material, and other helpful things.”

This isn’t always available, though, because sometimes, the textbooks are sometimes twenty years old and have limited or no extra content or online access. This can hinder the learning ability of the students and their ability to perform well on the AP tests, which are sometimes vital to keep down the high costs of a college education.

The information in textbooks also affects other subjects, like the science classes offered at Air Academy.

Cris Robson, a biology and environmental science teacher, says, “The sciences are constantly changing as research and application are ongoing, so there is always new information. In many sciences, the textbooks are often outdated by the time they are printed, but as science teachers, it is important for us to stay on top of the changes and new information and teach it outside of the text.”

Time and time again textbooks seem to be an inconvenience for both students and teachers, as they are heavy books with information that is no longer useful.