Baillaut, Natalie

Project title: There is certainly life on Mars: A look at children’s textbooks from the 1920s

Department: Curriculum and Instruction

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Helen Raptis

"The 1920s were an era of rapid social, political, artistic, and economic change. After a post-World-War-I economic slump, the decade transformed into a dynamic era which witnessed innovative shifts ranging from fashion and social trends to art, transportation and industry. Did the rapid changes experienced across the decade of the “Roaring Twenties” manifest themselves in Canadian schools? The purpose of this project is to track stability and change in elementary school books produced during the 1920s. The questions guiding this research include: What changed and what remained stable in books used in elementary schools during the 1920s? Did shifts in textbook content parallel social, political, artistic and economic changes? What do such (lack of) parallels tell us about the relationship between schools and society?

To examine these changes, I will use content analysis – a systematic approach to examining texts for the purposes of interpretation. I will also examine secondary historical sources for the societal context in which socio-political, economic and artistic shifts occurred."