ERIC Number: ED215932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Analysis of Textbooks to Discover Content and Value Changes: Identifying Representative Textbooks.
This paper suggests that some of the U.S. history textbooks selected and analyzed by Frances Fitzgerald in her research on the political socialization function of U.S. history ("America Revised," 1979) were never widely used in schools and that the results of her study are, therefore, unrepresentative. The paper also presents a methodology for textbook selection that will enable future researchers studying political socialization to analyze only textbooks widely used in schools. For the period 1900 to 1930, Fitzgerald identified 13 U.S. history textbooks which then formed the data base for her discussion of changing values and content during the 1900-1930 period. To determine if these 13 texts were indeed being used in schools during this time period, the author of this paper conducted his own study. His data came from two sources: (1) annual reports of school districts housed in the Annual Report College of Teachers College, Columbia University; and (2) surveys of schools and their curricula conducted during this period. His findings--specific U.S. history titles--are discussed. The author found that seven of the 13 textbooks selected by Fitzgerald for analysis were never widely used in schools between 1900 and 1930. Fitzgerald's inclusion of obscure and little-used textbooks would suggest that her generalizations for the time period between 1900 and 1930 should be treated with caution. The author recommends that future researchers use annual reports of school districts and school surveys when trying to identify textbooks widely used in schools, for these two sources contain extensive data on textbook adoptions in schools. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fitzgerald (Frances)
Note: For a related document, see ED 199 173. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March, 1982).