Term of Art: Social Content Guidelines

“social content guidelines: The directions for textbook publishers developed by the state of California. These directions tell publishers what information their textbooks must include and exclude with regard to groups identified by race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, economic status, or other criteria. California not only requires proportional representation of listed groups but also prohibits adverse reflection on them—meaning that any ‘descriptions, depictions, labels, or rejoinders that tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize’ any listed group are prohibited. The guidelines also require proportional representation of entrepreneurs, managers, and labor groups and ban adverse reflection on any particular occupation. In response to California’s social content guidelines, publishers are careful to avoid adverse reflection on any group in history textbooks and to eliminate potentially controversial literary selections. See also adverse reflection; bias and sensitivity review.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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