In most schools, these days workbook and worksheets are given. Common procedure (with few exceptions) followed:

  1. In the classroom, the workbook is filled by students (with/without) help from the teacher
  2. At home, parents would use the worksheet, or manually write questions so that student can practice it. Also as the workbook has answers written so we can not give the same book to read the concept to the student
  3. The student would fill up the worksheets (printed or manually written by parents), and after that parent would check whether answers are correct or incorrect. The parent would now explain to kids what has been wrong with the answer

Now this may look as common practice, but problem with this method:

  1. In the model of workbook worksheet followed by external checking, students cannot do “self-study” at all
  2. Any external person HAS to be involved with the student to make him/her study. This leads to added overhead for parent/elder or otherwise start going to tuition. Here I am not saying that parents should not be involved in studies. But studies of students should not be dependent upon involvement from parents/someone else.

Let’s compare this method with Textbook Method. One such example is NCERT books in India.

Textbook have

  1. Explanation
  2. Example to practice
  3. Exercise for self-study
  4. Answers in the End of the book

With such textbook, we can make students to follow this method (We have called this Adhyan Model):

  1. Read the explanation on your own
  2. Practice with examples, and see how they are solved
  3. Start doing exercise
  4. Compare the answer from end of the book
  5. If correct, you are done. If not, refer to theory and example again

In this method, the student can study on his own with taking external help. Hence workbook method appears to be against the “Self Study” method.

Why Schools have implemented Workbook?

  1. As we know some schools are focussed more on “Business of Education”. Hence probably, because a workbook cannot be reused, and these books are sold by schools in collaboration with publishers, hence it adds to repeat business. In the case of NCERT, one book can be reused. Also selling NCERT does not add much financial value for the school hence workbooks are preferred
  2. A common argument by the school could be that their books are better than NCERT but if their workbooks are not helping in “self-study” then however colorful/well designed they may be but they are not preparing the student for independent learning which is essential for making future leaders. Hence if they want to create better books than NCERT, they should at least design books which can be self-studied.