Researching the Historical Representations of Andrew Jackson in Trade Books
Steven K. Sakowicz
Kasetsart University Laboratory School
State and national standards compel teachers to introduce historical topics through multiple diverse texts, emphasizing the use of informational texts. Trade books allow teachers to meet these standards while also meeting the needs of diverse students. Primary sources serve as an additional curricular resource filling the gaps in information not covered by textbooks and trade books and allowing students to gain a more complete and accurate understanding of historical figures and events. Standards leave the selection and implementation of appropriate trade books, primary sources, and other curricular resources to the classroom teacher. In this research, I qualify and quantify how President Andrew Jackson, a very controversial historical figure, is portrayed in trade books. Misrepresentations within trade books concerning Jackson are reported and analyzed. Suggestions and a rationale for trade book and primary source selection and implementation in elementary, middle, and secondary school are addressed.
Key words: Andrew Jackson, trade books, informational texts, primary sources, historical thinking, Native Americans