Auditing Ohio was an experimental process that focused on thinking critically about educational materials used to teach in US K-12 schools. I worked with my son's 4th grade class and his teacher, Kevin Action, to audit their social studies textbook. Students used red pens to markup and cross out text on newsprint versions of their textbook. They wrote their opinions of the content, imagery, and overall design. Together we discussed what information is shared as learning content, who is represented, and what is being left out.
I started this project because of my extensive experience working for McGraw-Hill Education as a Media Designer. After a parent-teacher meeting, I noticed the social studies textbook the students were using was a textbook I had in-fact worked on as an employee of McGraw-Hill Education. I was interested in what the kids felt about the book; how did their views compare with my own thoughts and perceptions of the book?
The project was interrupted by Covid-19 in spring of 2020. Auditing Ohio was presented at the Portland State University's Assembly Conference, put on by the Art and Social Practice Graduate Program where students Shai, Adwoa, and my son, Adrian, with their teacher, Kevin Acton, engaged in conversation with the audience about the project.