What’s in a book? An exploration of multicultural extractions within secondary agriculture textbooks
Textbooks have the unique ability to provide snapshots of industry norms, including biases that may be present, through real-world applications and depictions of concepts for various subjects defining the individuals, values, concepts, and skills that are considered legitimate in a discipline (Becker & Nilsson, 2021). Using a cross-sectional descriptive study researchers used social semiotics to identify and examine sex and race within secondary agriculture education textbooks from the largest US textbook publishers. The researchers evaluated 34,161 pages, 4,603 photos, and 585 case studies from 58 textbooks. Students of color currently in the secondary agricultural education classroom are not seeing themselves represented in agriculture textbooks as it relates to enrollment in public schools. The absence of females is present among various disciplines in the agriculture field as well. The lack of diversity and representation present in the textbooks is blatant and may send unintended messages to female and BIPOC students within secondary agricultural education classrooms. Further research is needed that explores gender nonconformities, colorism, and intersectionality of race and gender representation in secondary agriculture textbooks.