ERIC Number: ED241383
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Images of Australia in Elementary Social Studies Texts: Some Alternative Strategies.
Birchall, Gregory; Faichney, Gavin
Elementary social studies textbooks in the United States were analyzed to determine the sort of information they contained about Australia. Only those texts which made substantive references to Australia were analyzed; these included 4 books for level 3, 2 for level 4, and 4 for level 6. Books examined were all published by major textbook companies: Allyn & Bacon, Inc., American Book Company, Ginn & Company, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Laidlaw Brothers, Scott Foresman, and Silver Burdett Co. The study focused on the quantity and quality of information provided relating to geography, history, aboriginal people, rural life, urban life, flora and fauna, politics, resources, popular culture, sport, ethnic groups, industry, mining, and maps. As a percentage of the total content, references to Australia ranged from 0.3% to 5%. The information presented was mainly accurate, if rather generalized. However, the overall image presented in the textbooks--that of Australians as a far off, remote group of desert dwellers, some of whom are aboriginal people who work on sheep stations, regularly attend the opera in Sydney, and go surfing--is not accurate for the great majority of the population. Australia as it is today is discussed, and recommendations are made for a more realistic approach to teaching about the country. Thirteen brief views of life in Australia written by Australian school children are appended. (RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (63rd, San Francisco, CA, November 22-26, 1983).