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Dick and Dr. Jane: How teachers help decide what textbooks and literature really teach children

1 December 1993


This study examines sexism in literature and textbooks used in a third-grade classroom, and more specifically, the teacher's role in the socialization process. The review of literature outlines the historical development of gender roles in textbooks and children's literature. Observations t00k place during the fall of 1993. They finalized with this effort to respond to questions regarding the presence of sexism in print available for use in the classroom, and how the teacher (as significant other) might bring stereotypes to the attention of the student-reader, thereby weakening inaccurate messages about the roles that men and women play in society today. In the particular classroom that was used for this study, many obsolete children's books were available to students. The teacher appeared to be unaware of her own taken-for-granted outdated beliefs, and therefore, did not challenge her students to recognize and question the taken-for-granted.


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