Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Kyle, Diane W.

Author's Keywords

Multicultural literature; Diversity; Literacy education; Reading; Classroom library; Pedagogy


Textbook bias; Readers (Elementary); Minorities in literature; Multicultural education; Children's libraries--Book selection


This study investigated teachers' inclusion of racially diverse literature within their classroom libraries, how the representations within the literature compared with the students in the classrooms, the inclusivity of students' book selections, and teacher thoughts concerning selection of literature. Individual classrooms were found to fall within categories of challenging, progressing against, or continuing the selective tradition, the tendency of teachers to favor literature that primarily features White, middle-class, male authors and subjects over works by and about women and other ethnicities or social classes (Luke, Cooke, & Luke, 1986). Of 22 classroom libraries, three were challenging, three were progressing against, and 16 were continuing the selective tradition. This indicates that an underrepresentation of diverse characters within classroom libraries still exists, but offers hope that some teachers are making progress toward challenging the selective tradition and including more multicultural literature and diverse texts. Classroom libraries in more and less diverse schools were comparable in portrayal of different racial groups in texts. Thus, the children in more diverse schools are not represented within classroom libraries like the children in less diverse schools. Teachers expressed interest in obtaining more inclusive books for their classroom libraries and shared barriers to inclusion of literature within their libraries. Implications for teacher educators and ideas for future studies are shared.