Scaffolding as a teaching and learning strategy

With several comprehensive I.B. economics textbooks available from major publishers, it is easy to question the place of a book like ‘Workbook for the New I.B. Economics’ (in both editions) in the educational ecosystem.

However, I have had an interesting series of conversations recently with a teacher whose students have both the workbook and a textbook. His opinion, based upon observing his own classes, is that the workbook gives students a more accessible introduction to the course than a standard textbook.

This feedback made me very happy, and it accords with my own experience using the book. I have had many students tell me that the vivid language and examples in the book really helped them gain a solid understanding of the course.

However, as we all know, understanding a course and doing well on an exam are not one and the same. I would be the first person to recommend that student also use a quality study guide or textbook to help them master the course.

However, the sequence matters. If a student already has a fundamental understanding of economics they will not be overwhelmed by the detail in a more comprehensive textbook. On the other hand, I have seen students, especially weaker students, become confused and demoralized by the inaccessibility of some of the more exhaustive textbooks.

So, if you think your students would benefit from a book that allows them to scaffold their learning from understanding important principles towards mastering the fine details, feel free to download and have a look at the free online textbook or get in touch by email.

All the best for a great year ahead.

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