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ERIC Number: ED164432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 57
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Values in an American Government Textbook. Three Appraisals.
Novak, Michael; And Others
These critiques of a high school American government textbook, "American Government in Action," (Resnik and Nerenberg, 1973) represent the first in a series of studies designed to assess the effectiveness of social science textbooks in communicating and reinforcing Western values. The critiques are followed by a response by the authors of the textbook. Three concerned critics with political ideas and public policy, but not connected with secondary education, reviewed and evaluated the text. The three critics agreed that although the text is thorough, clear, and simple, it is overly optimistic and it treats government uncritically. The chapter on crime is criticized either for painting too rosy a picture or for its discussion of "white collar" crime, for example, public utility price fixing. One critic states that the text is dull, intellectually sloppy, and fails to communicate the basic values of Western civilization. A second critic notes that the book reinforces a general faith in the responsiveness of government and shows sensitivity to the delicateness of public choices. The authors of the criticized American government textbook respond that the critics should have been aware of the audience to whom the book was addressed. They note that students must be provided with readable and understandable concepts, that publishers must adhere to a middle of the road position, and that the book must be approved by textbook selection committees and by school boards. The authors believe that the wide sale of their text indicates that it is adaptable to all of these requirements. (KC)
Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1211 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($3.00, 10 or more, 30% discount)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A