Una pedagogía sesgada

An installation formed by textbooks, slanted at a diagonal angle to make reference to “slanted information” – a term for information that is not impartial and that evades or ignores one side in favour of the other.

Textbooks reflect a viewpoint of the social and cultural reality which corresponds to the majority culture. The most frequent forms of bias in contemporary education consist of inaccuracies, stereotypes, omissions, distortions and partisan language. In the majority of materials analysed this bias reveals itself in information that is not very respectful with cultures different to our own. This information is presented uncritically and with too much complacency regarding the place and time under discussion.

In 2014, a collective of Spanish teachers denounced the publication of two textbooks, intended for primary school children, which omit the circumstances of the death of playwright Federico García Lorca. The books present his death in 1936 as a collateral effect of “a Spanish war”, failing to specify that in reality he was executed by firing squad on the orders of the fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War on account of his political affiliations and homosexuality.

Even though the information they provide is not incorrect, these books are omitting extremely relevant and sensitive information, clearly revealing the political motivations of the books’ editors and of the political parties behind them. This lack of objectivity (unacknowledged) converts many educational textbooks into material for indoctrination: the perfect tool for introducing historical and social distortion into the classroom.