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ERIC Number: ED422227
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Developments in Elementary Students' Knowledge about and Empathy with Native Americans.
Brophy, Jere
This paper summarizes responses of students in kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 4, and 5 to questions about Native Americans. The paper draws on findings from two studies, both done in a suburban school system deemed "average" on a variety of educational and socioeconomic indicators. In each study, samples of students stratified by gender and achievement level were interviewed individually about topics addressed in social studies. Analyses focused not just on the accuracy of responses, but on their qualitative nuances that provided insights into students' ideas, including their misconceptions. Responses across grades K-5 suggest that students' knowledge and thinking about Native Americans tends to proceed through the following stages: (1) no knowledge; (2) cartoon stereotypes of the appearance or behavior of Indians; (3) Indians as the first people in America, wilderness survivors, and teachers of and learners from the Pilgrims and other early Europeans; (4) knowledge about Indians' lives and cultures and empathy with them as noble ecologists and victims of European aggression and greed; and (5) distancing and loss of empathy as attention shifts to the pioneers and the westward expansion of the United States. Implications for planning curriculum and instruction for elementary social studies are discussed with recommendations for classroom teachers and curriculum planners. (EH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A