I conducted research on American high school and college textbooks from 2012-2015, focusing in particular on whether and how those textbooks enable students to develop their capacities for effective civic engagement, and to become active democratic citizens.
High School Textbook Project
My first project investigated high school civics textbook content on the interdependence of American governments and private actors, particularly private business corporations. This site has the rubrics I used to ensure that my reading of the textbooks was consistent:
- The rubric that served as the basis for David Menefee-Libey, Charles Herman, Chad Powell, and Jeffrey Zalesin, “The Real World of Interdependence of Governments and Corporations: What We Know vs. What We Teach,” Utah Law Review 2014, no. 4 (2014), 927-949.
- The further developed rubric that served as the basis for “High School Civics Textbooks: What We Know Versus What We Teach about American Politics and Public Policy,” Journal of Political Science Education 11, no. 3 (2015), 1-19.
College Textbook Project
My second project raised similar questions for college textbooks on American government.
I pursued this work with substantial assistance of undergraduate students at Pomona College, to whom I am deeply grateful:
- Emily Hayes
- Charles Herman
- Jeremy Marks
- Sonia Marton
- Chad Powell
- Tena Thau
- Jeffrey Zalesin