Sina Afzal
How can I access official united states school textbooks? Hi. recently I got this idea of reading the official school textbooks which students study in united states. I think it would help me a lot to get familiar with most common English idioms, poems, literature, etc. and it's a good way for improving my English skills. As far as I know, official school textbooks are free and accessible for everyone to download in most countries, as the case in Iran (where I'm from). However, after lots of searching, I couldn't find the website for these textbooks of U.S. schools. Does anyone know how can I access them? tnx.
Feb 10, 2017 3:55 PM
Answers · 8
I can't answer your question, but I live in the UK, and I don't know anything about being able to download textbooks for schools here. I know that the US is federal, and that education may vary by state, and I think may even vary in states, so you might want to narrow your search down to states instead of the whole US. For things like poems and literature, you might want to find if there are book lists, and then try and download those books from sites like gutenberg.org ( legal and free ) or a torrenting site ( illegal with the possibility of viruses and so on ).
February 10, 2017
Thanks Sina! I'll take a look at those books
February 11, 2017
Thank you very much for the comprehensive comment, Angela. In Iran, the ministry of education is in charge of educational planning, financing, administration, curriculum and textbook development. after finishing school, students get accepted in universities regarding their performance in a nation-wide competitive entrance exam called "konkur" as well as their performance in high school. Besides, from the second year of high school students choose in which field they want to pursue their study. For example if one wants to be a lawyer, he should study in literature/humanities field for the last three years of high school and they have different textbooks from those who want to be for example an engineer, etc; and naturally, students who study in different fields will attend different konkur exams; in case of engineering field, students should answer questions of literature, English, one foreign language other than english (could be german, french, arabic, etc based on attendant's preference), religion studies, mathematics (linear algebra, differential and integral, geometry, discrete mathematics) , physics and chemistry (total of 245 questions in 4.5 hours) . So, yes, there are some standard textbooks which all students study across the nation in Iran, meanwhile some schools add some other textbooks at their own discretion to prepare students for the konkur exam. To be honest, I hate this educational system in Iran. Thank God I did good in my konkur but the exam was truly a very stressful process for me. Recently, the government tried to amend the educational system for a couple of times but in my opinion they made it even worse each time.=) I couldn't find an english list of the textbooks for iranian schools but this is the website where everyone can download all the textbooks for different fields and years of schools in iran www.chap.sch.ir ---- the site is in Persian of course but you can use google translate to see the website in English.
February 11, 2017
3 - you can search online for lists of commonly read books. Here's an example: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2012/12/05/list-what-common-core-authors-suggest-high-schoolers-should-read/?utm_term=.49f0de8ec54c But do understand that not every student will have read every book on this list. (Most students will probably have read some of them.) I also did find this from California - http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/rl/ - it is a searchable list of suggestions for teachers, but districts (and sometimes teachers) can use or ignore that list. Still, it should give you an idea of the types of books and poems that might be taught. --- Is school in Iran standard? Do all students learn the same thing? I would love to see the official list (assuming there is one).
February 10, 2017
Three things: 1 - there is no such thing as an "official school textbook" in the US. In the US, schooling is very local. Every state is responsible for making decisions on what schools will teach and most states delegate that responsibilities to "school districts" (it is common to have one school district in every city, but some cities have multiple districts and some districts have multiple cities. It all depends.) And many school districts delegate choosing textbooks to schools and some schools leave textbook decisions up to the individual teacher. So, it's very possible that one teacher will teach one book and the teacher across the hallway is teaching an entirely different book. It is likely that a teacher in a different school will use different book. Every single college does its own thing. 2 - They're not free. In the US, textbooks cost. Think $100-$300 per book on average. (Some schools loan these out to students, some make the students pay for books, some get permission to pay for photocopies for their students, etc. But for the most part, they're not widely or easily accessible online). And again, nothing is truly standard or official. When students read novels, they may just get a copy of that novel, but again it isn't free unless it is an older book in the public domain. It is loaned to the student from the school or the student will have to buy it. (Usually $10-25/novel. In a class where you read 10 books, that's $100-250.) (cont...)
February 10, 2017
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