ERIC Number: ED260019
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jul-15
Reference Count: 0
Religion and Traditional Values in Public School Textbooks: An Empirical Study.
Vitz, Paul C.
This section, from a larger report describing a project designed to systematically investigate how religious and traditional values are represented in today's public school curricula, presents seven studies intended to examine how religion, religious values, and family and family values are presented in the typical textbooks used in the nation's public schools. Studies 1 through 5 deal with how religion and some social and political issues are represented in social studies texts for grades 1-6. Study 6 deals with the same topics as portrayed in high school American history books. Study 7 investigates how religion and certain traditional values are portrayed in the books used to teach reading, in grades 3 and 6. The analyses were based on 60 commonly used social studies texts produced by the following publishers: Allyn and Bacon (1983); D.C. Heath (1982); Holt, Rinehart, & Winston (1983); Laidlaw Brothers (1983); Macmillan (1982-83); McGraw-Hill (1983); Riverside (1982); Scott Foresman (1983); Silver Burdett (1984) and Steck-Vaughn (1983). The books were read and scored by the principal investigator; all results were verified by independent evaluators. The general finding of the studies is that public school textbooks present a biased representation both of religion and of many traditional values. Appendices (80% of report) include: (1) A list of the 60 social studies books listed by publisher, grade, and title; (2) adoptions of textbooks listed by state; (3) a text-by-text, page-by-page analysis of the presentations of religious values in text and in images and family values in text; (4) analysis of the treatment of selected religious topics such as the Pentecostal movement, Martin Luther King, and fundamentalism; and (5) summaries of 670 stories and articles analyzed in study 7. (LH)
Descriptors: Bias, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Family Attitudes, Family (Sociological Unit), Moral Values, Public Schools, Reading Materials, Religion, Social Problems, Social Studies, Textbook Bias, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research, Traditionalism, Values Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Dept. of Psychology.
Note: Section 1, Part 2 of Equity in Values Education: Do the Values Education Aspects of Public School Curricula Deal Fairly with Diverse Belief Systems? Final Report, July 1985 (SO 016 857).