Teach Your Children Well: A Critical Examination of the Genuine History of Late 19th Century School Textbooks

31 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2007 Last revised: 22 Dec 2008

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

This paper examines the representations of American Indians in late 1800 school textbooks. Despite claims of a genuine historical record, the books ignore much known about the history of the diverse native peoples at that time and portray an essentialized and politicized view of native people. Not only is the text examined, but information is provided about authors, publishers, textbook adoption and use, as well as the relationship of law and policy. While the focus is on the late 1800's the author suggests why the perceptions persisted. Paper makes use of the works of Bourdieu and Michael Apple. This paper was selected by the United States Department of Education, Office of Indian Education for its website.

Keywords: textbooks, publishing, law and schools

JEL Classification: I20, I21, I28, J70, J71, J78, K10, L82, N31, N41

Suggested Citation

Simpson, Michael W., Teach Your Children Well: A Critical Examination of the Genuine History of Late 19th Century School Textbooks (2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1001081 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1001081

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