Hartnell US History Grades 6 to 8 People and Events 1865 to Present Book Report

Question Description

Instructions for this assignment are in your syllabus.

However, you may find this hand out useful for additional FYI details.

The primary questions you are trying to answer as you explore a textbook used for an American History course (elementary school, middle school, high school, or college level, online textbooks are acceptable) are: Which groups are primarily represented (included)and which groups don’t appear to be as much part of American history (excluded or marginalized)?

Your task is to go to a library or perhaps your younger sibling’s backpack and find a high school or junior high school AMERICAN HISTORY textbook (a book used to teach American or U.S. History ot students in primary grades). You can also find examples of this type of textbook online, try Amazon or Google Books and if you can find Table of Contents and enough of the text to fulfill the assignment, then great! THEN look the textbook over (the Table of Contents is very important to this part of the assignment) and analyzethe textbook for inclusions and exclusions and to draw some conclusions about the politics of history (the relationship between how history is recorded and taught AND the way social power is organized in American society.) To analyze you should apply some questions to your examination of the book you’ve selected and then go the next step which is to figure out what the answers to your questions might mean in the context of the politics of history.

Some questions you should try to answer as you analyze the textbook you study are:

How are gender, race, sexuality, and class aspects of topics covered by the text?

Which genders are represented in American history?

How many historical narratives focus on women? As compared to men? What disparities in gender representation can you see? Are there patterns in gendered representations in history? (ie. Are men represented as heroic or as leaders? Compare to how women are represented.)

How many topics focus on women’s experiences or public events in which women are dominant? As compared to men?

Is the history of white Americans treated like a history without race? Does the history of white America dominate the textbook?

When the textbook addresses the history of ethnic Americans and Americans of color are these historical contexts (by contrast to those of white Americans) always “marked” by racial difference?

How is the subject of American history being represented? That is, does it appear that America belongs to one group of people more than to another?

Which racial and classed groups get the most attention in the textbook?

What assumptions about sexuality can you detect in the way history is covered?

How does the organization of this American history textbook communicate forms of social privilege and power?

After you’ve studied the book to consider the above questions, write a 1 page (double spaced) SUMMARY of YOUR conclusions and meanings related to your investigation. Try to speak to what this tells us about hierarchies of power in the U.S. Turn in to the Week 2 file Politics of American History Textbooks (Microsoft word or Google docs only please and SPELL and GRAMMAR check your document prior to turning it in)

After you’ve investigated an American History textbook and completed the assignment, Politics of American History Textbooks, following directions provided in the Politics of American History Assignment Hand Out, please turn it in here. (25 points)

Google doc or microsoft word docs ONLY. If you wish to earn credit for your work, you must use the required formats. Be sure to spell and grammar check all your written work for this course.

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