Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Portrayal of Mexicans in Colorado Schools
by Aringdale, Jillsa Lynn, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2014, 79; 10305842
Abstract (Summary)

The portrayal of Mexicans in high school curriculum in Colorado was investigated through the lens of existing theory that addresses the detrimental effects of indoctrination in schools in Israel and Palestine. This critical examination of the portrayal of Mexicans in U.S. curriculum is necessary because if discrimination, stereotyping, and marginalization of the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States are reinforced through the free and public education provided to the nation’s youth, then peaceful relations throughout society are fundamentally damaged. The portrayal of Mexicans in Colorado schools was investigated through research of historical relations between Mexico, the United States, and their peoples, interrogation of officials in charge of curriculum at the state and local levels, analysis of textbooks used in four high school social studies courses, and ethnographic research by interviewing Mexican students, who shared their experiences of being portrayed within said curriculum. Textbooks were analyzed through a critical lens to detect methods of indoctrination that scholars have exposed in Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks and through comparison of the textbooks’ content with researched scholarship on Mexican-American relations. The results of interviews were examined to find trends between responses, and then compared with existing scholarship to identify commonalities with documented cases of the effects of indoctrination through schools. The study’s findings conclude that the school curriculum in question inadequately contextualizes critical aspects of the historical relations between the United States and Mexico, framing information in a manner that is favorable to U.S. interests and depriving students of a truthful understanding of reality. This results in bias and discrimination toward Mexicans and engenders disharmony in society.

Keywords: textbook analysis, portrayal of the “other,” indoctrination, Mexican- American relations, Colorado

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Susan
Commitee: Golub, Philip
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Social studies education, International Relations, Curriculum development
Keywords: Colorado, Indoctrination, Mexicans, Other, Social studies, Textbooks
Publication Number: 10305842
ISBN: 9781369494068
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