ERIC Number: EJ1092544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
Depictions of Human Bodies in the Illustrations of Early Childhood Textbooks
Martínez-Bello, Vladimir E.; Martínez-Bello, Daniel A.
Early Childhood Education Journal, v44 n2 p181-190 Mar 2016
In many Ibero-American countries children in the early childhood education (ECE) system have the opportunity to interact with textbooks on a regular basis. The powerful social function of textbooks in socializing children in primary and secondary school, and in legitimizing what counts as cultural norms and officially sanctioned values and knowledge, is clearly documented. However, the examination of ECE textbooks especially in the context of developing countries for messages about the social construction of the body is virtually nonexistent. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to examine, through a content analysis of the illustrations, the representation of the body across the different categories of gender, age, activity level, space and disability in eight Colombian ECE textbooks from the three major commercial publishing houses between 2009 and 2012. Our results show that these textbook authors and publishers have made an effort to promote equality between the genders. However, only four disabled people were portrayed in the illustrations and there was a lower proportion of older adults doing a limited range of gross motor activities. Likewise the results note that, although progress has been made in terms of the balance of gender representation in textbooks, these still reinforce and legitimize the status of the "able-body", and contribute to consolidating a view of able-bodiedness as the dominant norm. Taking into account that beliefs and prejudices constitute barriers to education and social participation, these results suggest that the representation of children with disabilities in ECE textbooks at the earliest stages of education should be mandatory.
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Textbooks, Human Body, Developing Nations, Content Analysis, Foreign Countries, Gender Bias, Sex Fairness, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, Disabilities, Normalization (Disabilities), Special Needs Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia