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ERIC Number: EJ933481
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
"Isn't that a Dude?": Using Images to Teach Gender and Ethnic Diversity in the U.S. History Classroom--Pocahontas: A Case Study
Padurano, Dominique
History Teacher, v44 n2 p191-208 Feb 2011
A few days into the new school year, the author's female students invariably beg, plead, and cajole her in the hopes of watching Disney's "Pocahontas" in class. Toddlers when the film was released in 1995, doubtless they have seen it already dozens of times; more importantly, the author cringes at the ethnic and gender stereotypes sometimes promoted by the animated "classics." This year, however, rather than summarily dismiss the girls' request, she honored it. She used their admittedly flawed knowledge of Pocahontas as a springboard to dive more deeply into 17th-century politics and culture in England and the Chesapeake. By contrasting the images of the Powhatan princess that they had imbibed as children with those commissioned by Pocahontas herself, the author was also able to inaugurate a year-long series of critical thinking exercises with images. In this essay, the author will detail the sources and the questions that she used to develop the Pocahontas exercise, and suggest ways that teachers might develop similar exercises for their own classes. Moreover, she will provide a pedagogical rationale for incorporating various types of visual stimuli into an introductory survey of United States history at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Finally, she appends an annotated bibliography of traditional and digital sources for teachers and students alike. (Contains 7 figures and 10 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A