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Journal of Advances in Education Research
JAER > Volume 4, Number 3, August 2019

The Changing Faces of the Math Student: Images in U.S. Early Elementary Mathematics Textbooks, 1904-1999

Download PDF  (4052.9 KB)PP. 91-109,  Pub. Date:August 13, 2019
DOI: 10.22606/jaer.2019.43001

Author(s)
Maryellen Schaub, Daniel Salinas, Samira Halibi, David Baker
Affiliation(s)
Education Policy Studies, Penn State University, University Park, USA
Organization for Economic Country Development, Paris, France
World Bank, Washington, DC, USA
Education Policy Studies, Penn State University, University Park, USA
Abstract
This study explores the historical changes throughout the 20th century in the visual hidden curriculum contained in early elementary mathematics textbooks in the U.S. The study is based in a quantitative content analysis of iconic images published in early elementary mathematics textbooks between 1904 and 1999. Data come from coding of an archive of 15,901 pages from 32 mathematics textbooks widely used in the U.S. Main findings reveal that, compared with mathematics textbooks used early in the century, contemporary mathematics textbooks include significantly more images, make a more intensive use of images of people, are more inclusive of social identities traditionally excluded or represented through stereotypes (e.g. women, racial/ethnic minorities), and portray young students not merely as passive recipients of information but as active learners able to perform cognitively complex mathematical tasks. As schooling expanded over the 20th century, textbook images evolved to include new socially constructed meanings of student.
Keywords
Visual hidden curriculum, schooling expansion, social identities.
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