|Textbooks, social history they revealed, on exhibit|
|Tuesday, November 08, 2011|
Schoolbooks that supported slavery, biology texts that were banned and the first Dick-and-Jane books with African-American characters are on display at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The exhibit, “Curriculum and Controversy: Two Centuries of Textbooks in North Carolina,” will run through Jan. 31 in the North Carolina Collection Gallery of the Wilson Special Collections Library.
The exhibit examines the social history of the last two centuries through the schoolbooks. Visitors can see how textbooks have imparted values about race, gender roles and social change, and how treatment of these issues evolved over time.
On Nov. 16, a panel moderated by Bill McDiarmid, Ph.D., dean of the UNC School of Education, will examine the current state and future of North Carolina textbooks, including the role of state textbook commissions and the implications of digital textbooks.
Panelists will be Charles Gaffigan, principal of East McDowell Junior High in Marion and co-chair of the North Carolina Textbook Commission; Angela Quick, deputy chief academic officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; and Michele Woodson, principal of Pleasant Grove Elementary in Burlington and consultant on a North Carolina textbook.
The free public program will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library after a 5 p.m. reception and exhibit viewing. For program inquiries, contact Liza Terll, Friends of the Library,
, (919) 548-1203.
“It’s shocking for a modern reader to see warnings about drunkenness and stories about death in a textbook,” she said. “It really demonstrates how sensibilities have changed, as well as our notions about childhood and the purpose of schooling.”
Highlights of the exhibition include:
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Wilson Library hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Image: Cover of “Fun with our Friends,” by Helen M. Robinson, Marion Monroe, A. Sterl Artley, Charlotte S. Huck and William A. Jenkins (Scott, Foresman and Co., 1965). It was the first Dick-and-Jane book to include African-American characters.
Library contact: Linda Jacobson,
, (919) 962-0104