The representation of gender in English textbooks in Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
The central role played by textbooks in children’s education in developing countries has been highlighted previously in this journal. This paper reports on how an English-language textbook used commonly in Ugandan secondary schools reinforces gender stereotypes which are prevalent in society. The paper is based on a mixed-methods investigation of gender representation in English in Use, Book 2 by Grant and Wang’ombe, a textbook recommended by the Ministry of Education for teaching English to students aged 14–15 in Ugandan schools. Documentary analysis elicited the data which were analysed quantitatively using Porecca’s framework for the analysis of English as a Second Language textbooks and then qualitatively using critical discourse analysis. This revealed that positive female role models are under-represented and that the language of the text is not inclusive of females. Lesson observations of two teachers using the textbook, along with follow-up interviews, revealed that they mostly ignored gender issues by dealing with them uncritically, purely as a means of enhancing linguistic skills. We argue that the content of such textbooks, and the way in which they are mediated in the classroom, undermine the Ugandan government’s commitment to equity and inclusion.
- Journal Article