History Needs New Heroes
Pearson Education

Pearson Education


Founded in 1844 as a construction company and switching to a publishing company in the mid-1920s, Pearson Education, Inc. emphasizes worldwide learning for people at all stages of life.  Headquartered in London, England, Pearson values bravery, imaginations, decency, and accountability. Prentice Hall is a major publisher owned by Pearson which publishes content for 6-12 grade levels.

United States History (2016) is a Prentice Hall publication that encourages students to explore the enduring issues that continue to shape the nation’s history. Throughout 6 chapters and 241 pages, there are 2087 mentions that cover 268 people.

People by Name

The top 20 mentions includes 24 people.  Of those people, 20 are government officials, 3 are activists, and one was indicted for being a Soviet spy. Only one woman is present on the top list.  Four people are dictators from international countries including the Soviet Union, South Vietnam, and Iraq.

People by Gender

Only 13% of people mentioned in this Pearson publication are female and 87% are male. What does this deep chasm say to girls learning about the women of the past?

People by Race

An alarming 79% of people mentioned in this time period are white. In 2010, the percentage of white Americans was only 53%.  That means that almost half of Americans who are African American, Latin American, or Native American do not find their narratives present throughout their nation’s history.

People by Role

The top roles mentioned based on percentage include government, activist, entrepreneur, entertainer, writer, criminal, military.  While 9 criminals is small in comparison to the 118 people who were government officials, the fact that it made the top 5 mentioned categories in the textbook is telling all on its own. What would it look like for more mentions of activists than those who committed various major crimes?

A Closer Look

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