The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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This study presents a comprehensive analysis of 61 textbooks widely used in South African primary schools. In a complex analysis of diversity and representation, the study shows that although there has been improvement in the representation of black male learners in Grade 1 texts, girls as well as poor and working class characters, particularly in rural settings, feature less often. Disabled people are virtually invisible. While there are signs that publishers are taking steps to address the situation, there is room for improvement.

A vital resource for departments of education, publishers and teachers, this study alerts us to the ongoing need for attention to the stereotypes that continue to people South African schoolbooks. This study is part of a wider, cross-disciplinary School Integration research project initiated by the Human Sciences Research Council. Broadly, the aims of the project are to investigate the unfolding role and character of integration in South African schools, the connections to historical, international and contemporary social patterns and how teachers, texts, managers and policy-makers understand and address these challenges.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 210mm x 280mm
Pages : 64
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2093-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2093-5
Publish Year : 2005

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface
Executive summary
Abbreviations

Introduction

1 Representation in textbooks
1.1 Desirable representation: real or ideal worlds
1.2 Diversity in South African schooling
1.3 Textbooks and socialisation
1.4 Studies of representation in textbooks
1.5 Conclusion

2 Methodology
2.1 Selecting textbooks for the study
2.2 Methods of analysis

3 Findings and discussion
3.1 Analysis of Grade 1 Readers
3.2 Analysis of Grade 7 Language books
3.3 Analysis of Grade 7 Natural Sciences books

4 Conclusion
4.1 Grade 1 Readers
4.2 Grade 7 Language books
4.3 Grade 7 Natural Sciences books
4.4 Limitations of the study
4.5 Recommendations

Appendix 1 List of titles analysed
Appendix 2 Analytical frameworks
References

Dr Carolyn McKinney, formerly a Research Specialist in the Child, Youth and Family Development Programme of the HSRC, is currently with the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a PhD from the University of London and is particularly interested in language in education, race and gender in education and identity.

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