Multicultural awareness of textbooks as perceived by social studies teachers in grades 5 through 12 in the Nashville Metropolitan Public Schools

Patty Jane Thedford, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of social studies teachers in grades 5 through 12 toward the treatment of ethnic minorities and women in newly adopted social studies textbooks in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as compared with the treatment given these two groups in the previous texts used by the school system. A secondary purpose was to determine if, and to what extent, demographic characteristics of the teachers surveyed (e.g., race, sex, grade level taught) affected their perceptions of the texts.^ A survey was developed and administered to social studies teachers in grade 5-12. The purpose of the survey was to determine just how multiculturally sensitive textbooks had become. The following three questions were devised to help in the analysis of the twenty statements on the survey completed by the teachers: (1) Did the revised textbooks present Ethnic Minorities and Women as a viable part of society rather than the exception? (2) Did the revised texts present Ethnic Minorities and Women in realistic and believable roles? (3) Did the newer texts present their information on Ethnic Minorities and Women so that it could be more easily used in the social studies classroom?^ Each of the twenty statements on the survey required a response relating to the text previously used as well as to the one currently being used. These texts covered six subjects: Eighth grade and eleventh grade U.S. History, World History, Geography, Fifth grade social studies, and Sixth grade social studies. The response to each text was made on a Likert Scale ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree (1-5).^ Each of these twenty statements was subdivided into two parts. One part asked for the teacher's response dealing with Ethnic minorities. The other part asked for the teacher's response dealing with Women.^ The data obtained from the survey were analyzed by a Four-way Factorial Analysis of Variance. As indicated by the data, most teachers judge the Current Text to be only slightly better than the Previous Text in its portrayal of Ethnic Minorities and Woman. Consistently, Anglo-American high school teachers gave the Previous Text a slightly higher rating than the Current Text. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.) ^

Subject Area

Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

Patty Jane Thedford, "Multicultural awareness of textbooks as perceived by social studies teachers in grades 5 through 12 in the Nashville Metropolitan Public Schools" (1986). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI8802626.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI8802626

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