I was pleased to speak with many teachers at the recent OBEA conference held at Conestoga College in Kitchener-Waterloo who are interested in using Economics for Canadians with their CIA 4U students. In conversation, though, some teachers expressed concern that principals might not approve purchases of consumable books in the current economic climate.
I addressed these concerns with some of the teachers I spoke with but would like to reproduce here some arguments one could use to support adoption of the book:
1. First, the principle that it is wrong to demand that students purchase consumable materials does not preclude schools from adopting them for use. While most students would choose to have their own copy, having a few copies available for loan in the school library makes it possible for students to use the book without having to purchase it.
2. Second, as the book is just $17 per copy, as a consumable it still works out to be less expensive than a hard-bound textbook over the long run, especially when one takes into account the cost of photocopying exercises. There are about 100 pages of exercises in each book. If these were to be photocopied, the cost to the school (at 7 cents per copy) would work out to around $7. Thus, the ‘text’ portion of each book costs only about $10. As hard-bound texts routinely cost around $80 per copy, we can see that the cost to the school of purchasing Economics for Canadians for students each year is no more expensive than purchasing one class set of hardcover books intended to last 8 years.
However, as Economics for Canadians will be updated every couple of years, while those students using a hard-bound text will be using a book that is clearly out of date by the time year 8 rolls around, those students using Economics for Canadians will be using a book that is much more current.
Overall, the schools which are already using the book have reported that students like using it as it serves as their notebook as well. The beauty of a consumable workbook is that students can write margin notes on its pages, truly making the book their own.