An incomplete history: representation of American Indians in state social studies standards

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Wayne Journell, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Using an interpretive analysis, American history standards from nine states that incorporate high-stakes assessments in social studies are analyzed for their representation of American Indians. Research on high-stakes assessments shows that teachers are more likely to align their instruction with state standards due to mounting pressure to achieve high scores. Therefore, an understanding of the way that American Indians are represented in state standards may provide a better understanding of how they are then portrayed in the classroom. The findings show that all nine states largely depict American Indians as victimized rather than providing examples of societal contributions made by tribes. Moreover, nearly all of the states cease their coverage of American Indians after the forced relocation in the 1830s, creating an incomplete narrative. The findings have implications for the historical consciousness of all students and specifically for American Indian students in mainstream public education who may feel disengaged and alienated by the current curriculum.

Additional Information

Journal of American Indian Education, 48(2), 18-32.
Language: English
Date: 2009
American Indians, American public education, social studies education, textbooks

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