The treatment of organized labor in fifteen high school social studies textbooks.
Doe, Peter S.
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The study was undertaken in the belief that the high school pupil of today should have a sound knowledge of the backgrounds and policies of the American trade union movement, and the problems arising from its existence. Regardless of whether the graduate becomes a union member or not, trade unionism, with its increasing strength, is going to have an important affect on his life. With this in mind, the knowledge of trade unionism was thought to be vital to the high school graduate. The charge had been made that organized labor was both misrepresented and ignored by the high schools. No attempt was made to answer or verify the charge, but it was hoped that the data obtained would aid the critic or educator in reaching an objective conclusion as regards the charge. [TRUNCATED] The most important conclusion derived from the study was that there existed a complete lack of harmony between both all fifteen of the books studied and within the books of each of the three subject areas considered as to what was said about labor. Unanimity was seldom achieved in the consideration of any one particular point, whether it were an event, person, act, agency, organization, or term. When a unanimous choice was discovered the degree of emphasis given the point by the various authors was found to be great. No definite tendency toward bias was noticed, but rather there was a tendency to avoid the issue in many respects. The history books stressed the earlier, more violent aspects in the history of labor; the problems books failed to present the labor question in a challenging, thought-provoking manner; and the government books contented themselves with describing the functions of various administrative bodies. Little, if any, attempt was made to present the labor problem as one aspect of a changing social scene, both affecting,and being affected by, other factors in our society. In brief, labor was handled as though it existed in a vacuum.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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