British Columbia’s Open Textbook Project began in 2012 and so far contains over 70 openly licensed textbooks, each available to read online, download in PDF, ePub and mobi (Kindle) formats for free, or as low-price printed books, and educators may use, re-use, modify, and adapt the books to fit course requirements. Here I’m looking at three examples of interest to the children’s workforce.
1. Introduction to Psychology
This is a 695-page textbook aimed at first-year university students. It has 16 chapters and is in full colour – but note that this results in the PDF being a 39MB download. It is designed to help students organise their thinking about psychology at a conceptual level, and each section also includes learning objectives, key takeaways, exercises and critical thinking activities, making it highly interactive. Many in the children’s workforce will immediately want to read Chapter 7: Growing and Developing, which includes prenatal development, infancy and childhood.
Download Introduction to Psychology here: opentextbc.ca/introductiontopsychology/
2. Introduction to Sociology
This is a 717-page textbook again aimed at first-year university students. It has 21 chapters and is in full colour – but the PDF file size is larger still, being a 71MB download.
This textbook adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical introductory sociology course, organized so that topics are introduced conceptually, with relevant, everyday experiences. I began by reading Chapter 5: Socialization and Chapter 14: Marriage and Family, and found both chapters attractive and stimulating.
Download Introduction to Sociology here: opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology/
3. Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities & Mental Illness
This is a 111-page black & white textbook with 7 chapters, so the PDF is a much smaller download, being just 1.2MB. Unlike the two titles above, this one has a more vocational nature, and although children and childhood issues are covered throughout, the target audience of the book appears to be carers of adults. Each chapter presents up-to-date evidence-informed practice knowledge, and for those interested mainly in ‘what to do’, text box summaries are provided for reading and listening. Throughout the book there are links to corresponding mp3 audio clips, which makes reading the book an engaging experience.
Download Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities & Mental Illness here: opentextbc.ca/caregivers/