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Biology Textbooks After Scopes 1925-1931

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Abstract:

This poster traces the history of biology textbook publishing shortly after the Scopes trial. The Tennessee Textbook Commission adopted one textbook in 1925 (after Scopes was indicted, but prior to the actual trial) and four textbooks in 1931. Comparing the books adopted 1931 to previous editions or books by the same authors that appeared prior to 1925 reveals a general trend among publishers. While some content that presupposes evolution (such as eugenics) is retained, the explicit mention of the word “evolution” is almost wholly eliminated. In the words of one editor: “in order to make this a satisfactory revision we must omit the word ‘evolution’ in the book.”

These textbook revisions are not only the result of the industry’s perception of anti-evolution sentiment, but also the role the that states assume in adopting uniform textbooks. Looking at the revised texts within the larger political and social context of compulsory public education in the American South shows a complex picture of biology education in this period.
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Association:
Name: American Historical Association
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http://www.historians.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p29309_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Shapiro, Adam. "Biology Textbooks After Scopes 1925-1931" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p29309_index.html>

APA Citation:

Shapiro, A. "Biology Textbooks After Scopes 1925-1931" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p29309_index.html

Publication Type: Poster
Abstract: This poster traces the history of biology textbook publishing shortly after the Scopes trial. The Tennessee Textbook Commission adopted one textbook in 1925 (after Scopes was indicted, but prior to the actual trial) and four textbooks in 1931. Comparing the books adopted 1931 to previous editions or books by the same authors that appeared prior to 1925 reveals a general trend among publishers. While some content that presupposes evolution (such as eugenics) is retained, the explicit mention of the word “evolution” is almost wholly eliminated. In the words of one editor: “in order to make this a satisfactory revision we must omit the word ‘evolution’ in the book.”

These textbook revisions are not only the result of the industry’s perception of anti-evolution sentiment, but also the role the that states assume in adopting uniform textbooks. Looking at the revised texts within the larger political and social context of compulsory public education in the American South shows a complex picture of biology education in this period.

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