Document Type

Science Education


Current problems in the use of text-books arise from: The continuous production of new knowledge, some basic in concepts or conceptual schemes and some extensions in exciting developments of new devices and applications; but all of them immediately embraced by text-book writers and teachers. Text-books have not become proportionately larger probably because of an irrational belief of most students, parents and even teachers that books should be a relatively small item in the student's budget and textbooks look too big and formidable to the student who thinks of a textbook as a mass of material he must learn, memorizing if necessary, and he is not able to abstract the main or central ideas from what he reads and hears, as will be further documented. An analysis of the current use of textbooks indicates that they are being used in two ways: one is to serve as a survey and overview of a field of knowledge and another as a reference for discussion and study. It is suggested that two different books be used for the two different purposes; one to be more brief and in syllabus form and the other to be larger and a more extensive reference than the present textbooks. In fact it might be well to taboo the use of the term "textbook." The author has been using such a system for a large lecture-laboratory course for about the past 10 years and believes that it has been very satisfactory. The system has also been well received by his assisting staff and also by the students. He recommends that others try it and suggests that it can be started easily with the teacher preparing his own outline for his course and using such hard-bound and paperback books as are now available.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





First Page


Last Page



©1968 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



File Format




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.