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Trade books' contextualization of consequential women's historical significance

Trade books' contextualization of consequential women's historical significance This paper explores the representation of consequential women in history within children's and young adult biographies.Design/methodology/approachThe data pool was established by developing a list of women's names extracted from common textbooks and state social studies curricula. Early-grade (K-4th) and middle-grade (5th-8th) in-print books were selected for juxtaposition because these students have the least prior knowledge and are perhaps most dependent on the text. Two researchers independently engaged in qualitative content analysis research methods, which included open and axial coding.FindingsEarly- and middle-grade biographies aptly established the historical significance of, but largely failed to contextualize, each figure's experiences, accomplishments and contemporaneous tensions. The women were presented as consequential, though their advocacies were not situated within the larger context.Research limitations/implicationsLimitations included a dearth of women featured in both state standards and biographies, limited audience (early and middle grades) and exclusion of out-of-print books. Comparable inquiries into narrative nonfiction, expository texts and historical fiction, which have different emphases than biographies, are areas for future research.Practical implicationsDiscussion focused on the significance of findings for teachers and researchers. Early- and middle-grade teachers are guided to contextualize the selected historical figures using primary and secondary source supplements.Originality/valueNo previous scholarship exists on this particular topic. Comparable inquiries examine trade books' depiction of historical significance, not contextualization of continuity and change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Studies Research and Practice Emerald Publishing

Trade books' contextualization of consequential women's historical significance

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References (46)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1933-5415
DOI
10.1108/ssrp-12-2019-0064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores the representation of consequential women in history within children's and young adult biographies.Design/methodology/approachThe data pool was established by developing a list of women's names extracted from common textbooks and state social studies curricula. Early-grade (K-4th) and middle-grade (5th-8th) in-print books were selected for juxtaposition because these students have the least prior knowledge and are perhaps most dependent on the text. Two researchers independently engaged in qualitative content analysis research methods, which included open and axial coding.FindingsEarly- and middle-grade biographies aptly established the historical significance of, but largely failed to contextualize, each figure's experiences, accomplishments and contemporaneous tensions. The women were presented as consequential, though their advocacies were not situated within the larger context.Research limitations/implicationsLimitations included a dearth of women featured in both state standards and biographies, limited audience (early and middle grades) and exclusion of out-of-print books. Comparable inquiries into narrative nonfiction, expository texts and historical fiction, which have different emphases than biographies, are areas for future research.Practical implicationsDiscussion focused on the significance of findings for teachers and researchers. Early- and middle-grade teachers are guided to contextualize the selected historical figures using primary and secondary source supplements.Originality/valueNo previous scholarship exists on this particular topic. Comparable inquiries examine trade books' depiction of historical significance, not contextualization of continuity and change.

Journal

Social Studies Research and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: May 25, 2021

Keywords: Biography; Informational texts; Young adult literature; Children's trade books; Historical representation; Women's history

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