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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of educational slides : implications for multicultural and development education Yas, Arlene Marion


The problem investigated was the analysis of connotative meaning of educational materials. Slides of Third World plantation workers were rated on two 15-scale semantic differential forms by a group of Scottish teacher trainees. The scales, generated from general qualitative guidelines found in multicultural and development education literature, were tested for their relevance to the specific experimental materials in a pilot study. The persons depicted in the slides were labelled with different descriptive terms - loaded and neutral. Each subject was exposed to one type of label. The results demonstrated that the persons depicted in the slides were not perceived to be presented in an equal manner. Although both persons received mostly negative ratings, the image of the tea picker was generally rated more positively than that of the plantation worker. The overall photographs were also responded to differentially. The picker slide received more positive responses than did the worker slide. The adjective scales were grouped together into clusters and analysed for treatment and interaction effects. Treatment labels significantly affected at least some of the ratings. In the case of the plantation worker, the loaded label guided the viewers to more positive perceptions, at least on certain scale clusters. The discovery that more intense judgements were less affected by label treatment indicated that viewers' responses were influenced by their own personal attitudes towards the individual depicted as well as by the manner in which the individual was presented. The relationship between person perception and slide evaluation was not found to be statistically significant. More indepth research is required to determine the actual behaviour resulting from the attitudes revealed in the present type of study. Would teachers or teacher trainees actually use these slides in the classroom environment? And would they refer to the individuals depicted in the derogatory fashion implied by some of the judgements expressed? And finally, what effects would such negative teacher attitudes have on their pupils?

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