Growing up with older siblings, books are bound to be passed down from generation to generation - however, is there a point where books become outdated or not fit for purpose? Should there be a balance between old classics and new writing on the classroom shelves. How will this affect suppliers to schools and those who market their products to schools?
Julia Eccleshare of the Guardian writes that “some books last well from one generation to another, but new books can sometimes be better at keeping children engaged.” There are advantages and disadvantages to keeping the school book stocks consistent.
Are books really timeless?
Any book lover will tell you that books and certain stories do not age or diminish. How many books have we read that our parents have read and been able to relate - regardless of generation? It would be a shame to get rid of these classics, but are they preventing children from breaking from ‘old’ ideals and ways of thinking?
Some schools are seriously under resourced as children do not have access to new writing. This often leads to a gap for ‘contemporary issues’ which need to be addressed and are not with old books. Again, this comes down to giving children access to modern ideals and allowing them to form new opinions.
Why keep the same stock?
The most obvious reason not to invest in new books is the cost. Those who market to schools will tell you that some schools just do not have the budget for new books and resources. The reasons for not replacing books regularly go a bit deeper than price. Teachers would argue that they have little time to keep up to date with modern writing themselves.
In a world where teachers jobs are very result driven, why would you buy something that is untested. Teachers would agree that it’s much easier and safer to stick with what is tried and tested. Perhaps the cost of time is the biggest factor here.
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