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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Ethnic Minorities in Teaching Materials

1985 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


In the mid-eighties, NCTE members still found the diversity of American cultural groups inadequately represented in the trade books and teaching materials available from publishers. They noted that "traditional presentations of the background of American history often distort or ignore achievements" of some of the groups whose descendants live in the North America. The members reiterated the position that all students suffer when teaching materials give a limited perspective on human history. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English urge publishers of trade books, textbooks, and other educational media, including, but not limited to, those intended for the English language arts at all levels, to portray in their publications a broader perception of human history and, in their depiction of the United States, to integrate an adequate and accurate account of the presence and participation of racial and ethnic minority groups and their contributions to American history and literature;

     that NCTE urge other professional groups to join us in this endeavor; and

     that NCTE urge boards of education, local and state, and English language arts teachers at all levels to make such broad and fair representation of all people in teaching materials one criterion for their use in schools.

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