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ERIC Number: ED355535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-23
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Of Mascots and Tomahawk Chops: Stereotypes of American Indians and the English Teacher's Response.
Charles, Jim
In view of the vast amounts of Native American stereotyping that exists in the United States today, English teachers should analyze ways to reduce the effects of such stereotypes. Despite recent attempts to raise ethnic consciousness, American popular culture still perpetuates and reinforces Indian stereotypes, and these prevailing images block true perceptions of what American Indians really are. In the context of the English curriculum, English teachers can present literature in ways which neither reinforce nor perpetuate these stereotypes. In the past, widespread improvement in the understanding of American Indians was undermined by the largely superficial treatment they received in the schools. In view of this, students should be shown the nature and historical development of stereotypes, as outlined by various researchers. Media like literature and films have perpetuated many misconceptions of American Indians. These media have grouped Indians into four basic stereotype categories: the noble savage, the savage, the generic Indian, and the living fossil. To combat these tendencies, English teachers must pay attention to curriculum content by trying to teach a representative set of Indian-authored selections. The following criteria can be used to make such selections: (1) readings should be supplemented with oral selections; (2) both oral and written selections should represent the diversity of the many tribes throughout the nation; and (3) contemporary selections should reflect the range of genres produced by American Indian writers. (Contains 32 references.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A