Criteria for evaluating instructional materials: Matheny's Audit of Content Bias
Adapted from: "Washington Models for the Evaluation of Bias Content in Instructional Materials" http://www.lauramatheny.com/uploads/5/7/1/5/57157975/washingtonmodelsfortheevaluationofbias.pdf

"Both in school and out, young children are exposed to racist and sexist attitudes. These attitudes—expressed over and over in books and in other media—gradually distort their perceptions until stereotypes and myths about minorities and women are accepted as reality. It is difficult for a librarian or teacher to convince children to question society’s attitudes. But if a child can be shown how to detect racism and sexism in a book or other multimedia materials, the child can proceed to transfer the perception to wider areas."

I personally believe that books and other curated curricula throughout a K-12 system can reflect and perpetuate societal bias or can seek to normalize many narratives of racial and gender equity. Diverse literary experiences can serve as a proxy for the inter-group contact that reduces inter-group prejudice, showing the importance of equitable ELA instruction.

So, using this tool during this school year, I'm auditing the major works I teach in my tenth and twelfth grade classes. Please complete this survey each time I ask you to this year. You're helping us improve what we teach for the future. Thanks!
What is your first and last name? *
Your answer
What grade level are you currently in? *
What text are you analyzing? *
What type of text is this? *
Gender/Sex: Male and female characters reflect qualities such as leadership,intelligence, imagination and courage. *
Gender/Sex: Male and females are represented as central characters in story and illustrations. *
Gender/Sex: Male and females are shown performing similar work in related fields. *
Gender/Sex: People are referred to by their names and roles as often as they are referred to as someone’s spouse, parent or sibling. *
Gender/Sex: Stereotyping language as “women chatting/men discussing” is avoided. *
Gender/Sex: Biographical or historical materials include a variety of male and female contributions to society. *
Gender/Sex: Groups which include male and females are referred to in neutral languages such as people, mail carriers, firefighters, or legislators *
Gender/Sex: Overall... *
Multicultural: Materials contain racial/ethnic balance in main characters and in illustrations. *
Multicultural: Minorities are represented as central characters in story and illustrations. *
Multicultural: Minority characters are shown in a variety of lifestyles in active, decision‐making and leadership roles. *
Multicultural: Materials provide an opportunity for a variety of racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives. *
Multicultural: The vocabulary of racism is avoided. *
Multicultural: Stereotyping language is avoided.  *
Multicultural: Biographical or historical materials include minority characters and their discoveries and contributions to society. *
Multicultural: One religion is not perceived as superior to others *
Multicultural: Oversimplified generalizations about different religions are avoided in text and illustrations. *
Socio-Economic Status: Social class groupings portray all individuals in a variety of roles(positive and negative) and situations displaying positive and negative characteristics of integrity, humility,valor, and intelligence. *
Socio-Economic Status: Oversimplified generalizations about social classes and groups are avoided in text and illustrations.    *
Socio-Economic Status: All individuals are judged by their strength of character rather than their socio‐economic status. *
Socio-Economic Status: Characters are described by their behaviors, beliefs, and values rather than unnecessary socio‐economic descriptors. *
Socio-Economic Status: Contributions of individuals are valued for their benefit to all peoples of society. *
Socio-Economic Status: Materials provide an opportunity for dialogue which considers a variety of socio-economic perspectives. *
Family: In addition to the traditional nuclear family model, family groups are depicted in which there are single parents, adopted and foster children,step‐parents, same‐sex parents, and/or relatives living with the family. *
Family: A variety of life’s experiences are depicted. *
Family: People of all groups are depicted in a variety of clothing and with a variety of eating habits and activities. *
Family: Males and females are depicted in non‐traditional as well as traditional roles in the family, at work, in leisure activities, and in attitude. *
Persons with Disabilities: People are sometimes portrayed as able‐bodied, healthy, ill, and having disabilities. *
Persons with Disabilities: Qualities of character such as leadership, imagination, courage, and integrity are distributed among non‐handicapped persons and persons with disabilities. *
Persons with Disabilities: Non‐handicapped persons and persons with disabilities are represented as central characters in story and illustrative materials *
Persons with Disabilities: Non‐handicapped persons and persons with disabilities are shown performing similar work in related fields *
Persons with Disabilities: Non‐handicapped persons and persons with disabilities are shown working and playing together as colleagues *
Persons with Disabilities: Biographical and historical materials include contributions to society by persons with disabilities *
Persons with Disabilities: Persons with disabilities are referred to by their names and roles rather than their disability *
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