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Textbooks and Open SourceSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
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Selected Research & Readings


The Promise of Accessible Textbooks: Increased Achievement for All Students - Technological advances during the past 50 years have resulted in alternate format materials, providing those with disabilities new access to a world of information and ideas that traditionally has been restricted to printed text. Consistent Braille formatting, high-quality audio versions, synthetic speech, and electronic text are just some examples. Because it offers significantly increased flexibility and enables rapid transformations from one media type to another, electronic text in particular is emerging as the foundation of a revolutionary approach to the provision of alternate format materials. As that approach is realized, students with disabilities will be provided with a wide range of accessible and individualized learning materials; materials that have been extracted from a single digital source file. The efficiency of this approach is immediately apparent, and while there are numerous legal, commercial and technological issues to be overcome, everyone stands to gain from achieving a solution. (Skip Stahl, National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum, 2007)...

Turn the Page: Making College Textbooks More Affordable - This report considers the market imperfections behind rising textbook costs, while providing shorter term solutions to increase affordability and longer term solutions to develop more of a demand-driven market. Specifically, the committee recommends initiatives including textbook rentals, the use of no-cost content and increased financial aid. The study concludes that the real solution may come from a collaborative effort between federal policymakers, the higher education community and the technology industry to create a national digital marketplace. (The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 2007)...

Meeting the Challenge of Science Literacy: Project 2061 Efforts to Improve Science Literacy - This essay provides highlights from Project 2061ís study of high school textbooks, arguing for the importance of aligning textbooks with Project 2061ís Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Research Councilís National Science Education Standards and supporting instructional strategies that research has shown to be most effective. A summary of the Project 2061 study is available. (Mary Koppal and Ann Caldwell, The American Society for Cell Biology, Spring 2004)...

Middle School Textbooks Donít Make the Grade - U.S. 4th graders score above average in international science tests, but 12th graders score among the lowest. Improved middle school science textbooks could help maintain the advantage that U.S. students seem to lose in middle school. This article reviews and critiques middle school physical science textbooks with regard to scientific accuracy, adherence to a realistic portrayal of the scientific approach and appropriateness and pedagogic effectiveness of the material for the grade for which it was presented, finding significant shortcomings and proposing strategies for addressing the issue. (John Hubisz, American Institute of Physics, May 2003)...

Review of Middle School Physical Science Texts - Physical science textbooks used by most middle school students nationwide have many errors and irrelevant photographs, complicated illustrations, experiments that could not possibly work, and diagrams and drawings that represent impossible situations, a new study of the 12 most popular science books concludes. (John Hubisz, Middle School Physical Sciences Resource Center, 2002)...

The Trouble with Textbooks - High school science textbooks give only fragmentary treatment to fundamentally important concepts and "at their best ... are a collection of missed opportunities," according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The latest study of Project 2061, AAAS' long-term science and math education reform effort, points to serious shortcomings in content coverage and instructional design that fail to make science understandable and meaningful to students. (Stephen Budiansky, AAAS, February 2001)...

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