The official website of educator & arts patron Jack C Richards

Do textbooks ‘enslave’ teachers?

Question:

Submitted by Radia Kherbouche,  Algeria

What is the relation between teachers autonomy and the use of textbooks in english classes? Do textbooks ‘ enslave’ teachers?

Dr Richards responds:

It really depends on both the book and the teacher. An expert and competent teacher uses the textbook as a resource, and adapts and modifies it to suit his or her teaching context. A teacher who is over-reliant on the textbook is doing little more than presenting the material in the book rather than using the book as a springboard for creative teaching. Teachers with little training and with limited English, however, may be more dependent on the book since it may serve to compensate for their limited level of training as well as their low level of English language proficiency.