Could secondary textbook inaccuracies lead to gaps in college readiness?
- NPR profiles a new survey from the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, which suggests that a disproportionate number of secondary textbooks marginalize or underrepresent important advancements in social, political and cultural history.
- Subjects such as gender equality, civic peacemaking and diversity have increased in their presence in textbooks over the last 50 years, but largely ignore information on environmental justice and sexual diversity.
- Some observers say that students with limited access to books who are learning in academically vulnerable systems could be lacking in understanding of civility, and cultural competency.
Helping at-risk secondary schools and districts is becoming a larger focus for colleges and universities because institutions understand that increased investment must be placed in the student product before the transition to college admit is made. Universities like UCLA and Loyola University in Chicago are addressing the need through specialized engagement with secondary schools and pipeline building to college entry, while also emphasizing affordability.
Textbooks and curriculum requirements in districts may not easily be changed, but the amount of context provided by mentors and college student volunteers can always be adjusted to meet the needs of vulnerable student populations.