ERIC Number: ED433158
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
A Review of the Portrayal of American Indians in a Selection of U.S. History Textbooks and Recommendations for a Supplementary Curriculum.
This paper examines the treatment of American Indians in six high school U.S. history textbooks, published 1990-95 and used in several geographically diverse private schools and one public school in New York. The study aimed to determine whether all sides of the stories that make up U.S. history were presented, to clarify what specific areas are in need of improvement, and to suggest supplementary resources to compensate for textbook shortcomings. Chapter 1 considers the visibility of American Indians in history textbooks and finds that American Indians are left out of texts and illustrations, coverage of pre-Columbian America is disproportionately short, the lack of coverage of 20th-century American Indians perpetuates the "vanishing American" myth, and no primary source pertaining directly to Native Americans is in any of the textbooks. Chapter 2 discusses the lack of American Indian perspectives in the textbooks, noting that White historians dismiss Native oral sources as unreliable but use White oral sources, and that not only are Native primary sources absent, but different views of the issues are not presented. Chapter 3 finds that European perspectives regarding Native American history fall into classifications such as the hierarchy of civilizations, savages, generic or acquiescent Indians, manifest destiny of Euro-American colonists, barrier to progress, and the minimal effects of colonization. Chapter 4 presents a sample supplementary high school curriculum designed to address the shortcomings of traditional classroom material with respect to American Indian issues. Chapter 5 lists useful resources. Contains a 34-item bibliography. (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian History, American Indians, Curriculum Development, Ethnic Bias, Ethnocentrism, Federal Indian Relationship, High Schools, History Textbooks, Instructional Material Evaluation, Stereotypes, Textbook Bias, Trust Responsibility (Government), United States History, World Views
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education.