ERIC Number: ED407473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
The Illusion of Racial Diversity in Contemporary Basal Readers: An Analysis of the Teacher Manuals.
McDermott, Peter; And Others
Basal reading programs not only have tremendous impact on children's learning to read, but they subtly influence children's attitudes toward and understanding of racial differences in society. In this study, teacher manuals from four basal reading programs were examined for grades four, five, and six to learn how ideas for discussing racial and cultural differences with children are presented. The readers and manuals studied were published by: (1) Harcourt Brace (1995); (2) Houghton Mifflin (1993); (3) MacMillan (1993); and (4) Silver Burdett and Ginn (1991). The results of the text analysis indicate that basal manuals avoid discussions of racial and cultural differences even when those topics are found in the reading selections. The omission of race and culture from the basal selections and their teacher manuals creates the illusion that race does not matter, when it clearly does to many children and their families. Implications for teacher education and schools serving children of color are discussed. (Contains 2 tables and 22 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).