Children's Books Are Indeed Biased

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

In response to the recent Education Week article "Does The Cat in the Hat Sustain Racist Stereotypes?" (Oct. 11, 2017), the answer is yes. This is not to argue for book burning or banning but to suggest that teachers and educators at large, as well as U.S. Department of Education officials, should develop strategies to help teachers interpret problematic representations of race, class, and gender in texts for young readers. This is not a new issue: In the late 1970s, British author Bob Dixon argued that virtually nothing was being done to counteract the racial, gender, and class stereotypes found in many children's books or to promote greater diversity. Research also shows that many U.S. history texts routinely leave out or conflate important parts of the past, telling only one side of the story. Reading books with an eye for implicit and explicit messages is a service to readers, not an effort to "cleanse" the past.

The views in this letter are the author’s own and do not represent the organization he works for.

Jon McGill
Academic Director
Baltimore Curriculum Project
Baltimore, Md.

Vol. 37, Issue 10, Page 26

Published in Print: October 25, 2017, as Children's Books Are Indeed Biased
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories