Images in print: Bias and prejudice in Caribbean textbooks

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Institute of Social and Economic Research, UWI


This is the report of an investigation into the incidence of bias and prejudice in school textbooks published in relation to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) syllabus. The study focused on three subjects: history, geography, and social studies, and most of the textbooks examined were published specifically in relation to CXC syllabuses, although some appeared earlier in relation to the British General Certificate of Education (GCE) syllabus, but have continued in use. Twenty textbooks were assessed to determine the extent to which they were Caribbean in outlook and whether they reflected the significant changes in attitudes and perspectives that have occurred in the society since the colonial era. The study attempts to assess the degree to which the textbooks may contribute to the elimination of prejudice and intolerance in a society struggling to reduce, and ultimately to eliminate, the consequences of centuries of slavery, indenture, and colonialism. Based on the analysis, conclusions are drawn as to the appropriateness of the textbook material available for teaching these subjects in Caribbean schools


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