ERIC Number: ED404717
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Challenges to the Curriculum in Indiana's Public Schools. Policy Bulletin No. PB-B20.
McCarthy, Martha; Langdon, Carol
Findings of a study that examined the nature and scope of censorship activity in Indiana's public schools are presented in this paper. Data were obtained from a survey that was distributed to 292 Indiana superintendents during spring 1992. A total of 241 responded, an 82 percent return rate. The data are consistent with information indicating a significant recent national increase in challenges to the public school curriculum. Following drug education, the next most frequently challenged instructional programs/materials were AIDS education and sex education. In Indiana and nationwide, the most frequently challenged library books were "The Catcher in the Rye" and "A Light in the Attic." This study reflected a shift in the targets of challenges and also indicated that challenged instructional programs/materials were more likely to be eliminated or modified than were challenged library holdings. Because parents acting alone or in groups were the primary initiators of curriculum challenges in Indiana school corporations, efforts to involve parents in curriculum decisions may need more systematic attention. A number of respondents indicated that educators engaged in self-censorship. The self-censorship was based on fears that the materials would be offensive to individuals or groups in the community for reasons other than educational merits of the programs. Given that all of the challenged instructional programs/materials in this study were removed or altered or some type of accommodation was made when the school board supported the challenges, the position of the local school board in curriculum controversies is extremely important. Two tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Education Policy Center.
Identifiers - Location: Indiana