Beyond the Margins: Evaluating the Support for Multicultural Education within Teachers' Editions of U.S. History Textbooks

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Although previous research has described analysis of history textbooks in terms of multicultural education, limited attention has been given to teacher only resources, such as the “wraparound features” of teachers' editions. The study highlighted in this article applies critical discourse analysis to explore the potential for teachers' editions to support multicultural education. Teachers' editions of five U.S. history textbooks demonstrate the tendency for textbook authors to position Native peoples as invisible, as the savage Other, and as actors of the past. Additionally, teachers' editions privilege White settler and economically-motivated narratives, which suggests that conflict between Native peoples and settlers was a matter of destiny. Less frequently, wraparound features encourage critical thinking about dominant culture narratives and actors. The results demonstrate that today's teachers' editions frequently marginalize Indigenous peoples, experiences, and histories both spatially and literally through uncritical acceptance of the dominant culture narrative (i.e., “business as usual”) or assimilationist orientations (i.e., “teaching the culturally different” or “human relations”). The article concludes with implications for scholarly practice and classroom pedagogy.




Stanton, C. R. (2015). Beyond the margins: Evaluating the support for multicultural education within teachers’ editions of U.S. history textbooks. Multicultural Perspectives, 17(4), 180-189, doi: 10.1080/15210960.2015.1079491.
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