An investigation into the representation of African Americans in grade eight United States history textbooks approved by the California State Board of Education in 2005

Christine Leigh Paget
2008
As the connections between textbooks and schools, student self-esteem, and educational success are further articulated, and the ramifications of deficient textbook material are more clearly understood, textbooks become increasingly a source of concern and contention. The purpose of this study is to investigate the representation of African Americans in grade 8 American history textbooks approved by the California State Board of Education in 2005. This study develops a critical approach to
more » ... fying embedded power relationships in the text employing five evaluative criteria. These five criteria are ethnocentrism, over-simplification, voice, absence, and inclusiveness. The findings of this study are that, while particular sections of each textbook may be inclusive of African American perspectives and are satisfactory in their representation according to the criteria used in this study, the overarching narrative of American history remains ethnocentric. This study raises pressing concerns regarding the role of teachers and textbooks in delivering an equitable and inclusive curriculum.
doi:10.14288/1.0055195 fatcat:u4upcgvlenakxajp5ylntshwkm