Authors: Rebecca Morales, Alesha Baker
In an attempt to align instructional resources with new state standards and to increase teacher awareness of these standards, one large suburban public school district piloted the development and adoption of open secondary science textbooks.
Open textbooks created by teachers in grades six through nine replaced conventional science textbooks provided by mainstream publishing companies. Therefore, grade nine students were not included in this study.
At the end of the first quarter, middle school students (grades six through eight) who used the open textbooks were surveyed. Survey responses required respondents to consider their learning before and during the use of the open textbook. The survey included quality and presentation of content questions, as well as an opportunity for students to explain their responses.
There were qualitative and quantitative indications that students’ perceptions of an open textbook in place of a standard textbook are improving students’ attitudes and behaviors toward learning.