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Documenting Distribution and Trends of Developmental Idealism in Nepali Textbooks

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Arland Thornton

This project builds upon our recent initiative to study the international distribution and trends of material about demography, family, and developmental idealism in school textbooks. Our previous work suggests that education is a crucial mechanism for the spread of these ideas. Given that education is a consistent predictor of beliefs in developmental idealism and many dimensions of family and demographic behavior, an examination of textbooks around the world will be a valuable contribution to the understanding of the way school curriculums are or are not spreading developmental idealism. Important amongst project achievements thus far has been the creation of a textbook coding protocol to comparably measure the presence of developmental idealism messages in school textbooks across international research settings. The current study will expand, test, and revise that instrument by applying it to native language textbooks utilized by public schools within Nepal, a research site where many of the PSC faculty and students, including myself, have been conducting research during the past fifteen years. This pilot study is crucial to thoroughly evaluate the coding system and to test the reliability of the measures in this area of the world. A somewhat longer-term goal is to conduct a world-wide content analysis of a systematically selected sample of school textbooks from around the world. Demonstration of the feasibility of applying our protocols to Nepali textbooks will be very helpful in accomplishing the goal of analyzing textbooks worldwide. Our plan is to submit large-scale proposals for this worldwide textbook research.

Funding Period: 03/01/2012 to 06/30/2013

Country of Focus: Nepal

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