A comparative multimethod study was undertaken incorporating content analysis and thematic analysis of curriculum documents and textbooks, along with a survey of teachers in India. The content analysis and the survey were underpinned by the same theoretical framework, and therefore shared strong commonalities, thus enabling triangulation between the data collected via the survey and the analysis of textbooks.
Analysts read all documents in the sample and identified where they were able to identify a valid representation. To be included, the material had to mention or depict culture obviously connected to the country of analysis (i.e. an obvious connection to the UK in Indian documents and vice versa). For instance, this could include a person with traits that signified their origin, or materials originating from, or unique to, their origin.
Using Yuen’s (2011) approach, the content analysis focused on identifying representations of the following cultural aspects:
- Products (e.g. elements related to tangible objects)
- Practices (e.g. daily patterns of life)
- Perspectives (e.g. superstitions, myths, rituals)
- Persons (e.g. real people)
The analysts became familiar with the data from involvement in the content analysis. The data was thematically analysed to consider how the representations portray culture. The data was scrutinised for patterns (using the key words and further reading of the data). Similar data were gathered together into themes, often encompassing several keywords or other codes. Themes were validated through discussion between the analysts and confirmation through literature. The thematic analysis was qualitative, and the patterns mentioned were impressionistic, informed by expert opinion.
UK primary reading books
Cambridge engaged an expert in primary school reading lists in the UK to providing a summary of the sorts of books available to young learners in which there are representations of India.
The findings from a teacher survey were used to triangulate the findings from the cross-jurisdiction analysis.