chapter  3
14 Pages

The black African in Southern Africa: images in British school geography books

ByT. Lilly

The role of the school textbook as an aid to learning and its influence upon thoughts, opinions and attitudes cannot easily be demonstrated. It is only one source of reference of many that may act upon a child's perception of the world. It can be argued that storybooks, pictures, comics and, nowadays, film and TV are more pervasive influences. The oft repeated Tarzan films and the later 'Zulu' and 'Zulu Dawn' have much to answer for as shapers of children's attitudes to Africans. In the past, these alternatives to formal learning were less common, allowing the schoolbook a proportionately greater role. The logical premise has to be that a textbook placed in front of a child for a year or more always has some potential to persuade and it is clearly the duty of the teacher to work from such a premise, ensuring that the influence is as benign as possible.