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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Young, Kathleen Z.
Hammond, Joyce D., 1950-
Textbooks are the guiding documents for high school history courses in the United States, and states create their own education standards for their students. Washington State expects students to consider indigenous peoples' perspective on United States history to be one of genocide. Given this mandate, textbooks used in Washington State are responsible for presenting that perspective. That responsibility is primarily placed on textbooks because they represent a disproportionate amount of the curricular materials used in United States history classes across the country. A sample of six textbooks representing half of those currently used in Whatcom County, Washington, was analyzed for the inclusion of best practices for genocide education when discussing indigenous peoples. Textbooks were coded using content analysis of the text, images and captions, as well as semiotic analysis of selected images and their framing on the page. Texts' representations of victims of the Holocaust were used as a basis for comparison because of their universally recognized status as victims of genocide. My findings suggest that the perspectives of both groups of victims are inadequately represented in the textbooks, but in very different ways, and that these misrepresentations could be interpreted as complicity in continuing the genocides against the two groups.
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Holcom, Andrew C. (Andrew Charles), "Misrepresentation as complicity: the genocide against indigenous Americans in high school history textbooks" (2010). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 50.