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Ellie Fitts Fulmer, Ed.D., assistant professor of education, and colleague Sherry L. Deckman, Ed.D. (Lehman College, CUNY; lead author), together with alumni Keely Kirby (‘15) and Katharine Hoover (‘15), and doctoral student Abena Subira Mackall (Harvard) coauthored a study examining representation in elementary and middle school health textbooks.


The research team analyzed 1,468 images across several books to examine portrayals of race, gender, and sexuality. They found that, although gender and racial diversity are well-represented in health texts, compared to 20 years ago, women and people of color were frequently depicted in stereotypical and damaging roles. Findings suggest that focusing on the numerical representation of marginalized groups is not enough to address issues of equity and power in classroom curricula. Instead, educators must critically consider the ways in which people are positioned in the curricular materials they use, and ask if the portrayals perpetuate or challenge stereotypes.

The article, titled, “Numbers are Just Not Enough: A Critical Analysis of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Elementary and Middle School Health Textbooks,” was published in January in the journal Educational Studies.

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This research was supported in part with funding from the Education Department at Ithaca College, the H&S student travel fund, and the Women’s & Gender Studies Kalinowski Grant for Kirby’s and Hoover’s presentation of this research at a national conference.


Dr. Ellie Fulmer (Education Department), alumni Keely Kirby (‘15) and Katharine Hoover (‘15), together with colleagues, coauthored a study on race, gender, and sexuality representation in health textbooks. | 0 Comments |
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