The intent of this thesis is to (1) examine the prevalence of diverse populations in the pieces of children’s literature found in three Title I third grade classrooms, and (2) to examine if the diverse populations are authentically and relevantly represented. Researchers have emphasized the impact and importance of children’s literature that represent student’s diverse backgrounds authentically and relevantly, as they have the potential to affect students’ motivations, aspirations, and how they view themselves and the world at large. Particularly, Bishop (1990) suggested that students need books that act as “mirrors” that allow them to see themselves, their experiences, and their cultures, and books that as “windows” that allow them to learn about others, other experiences, and other cultures. However, the mere presence of diverse populations in children’s literature alone is not enough; the diverse populations must be represented authentically and relevantly as to not perpetuate stereotypes about certain non-dominant groups (Christ and Sharma, 2018). The content analyses conducted on the children’s literature with human characters found that the libraries were dominated by White main characters; 77.98% of the main characters were White and 22.02% of the main characters were from diverse populations, despite the school population being only 8% White. Additionally, the content analyses showed that while all the books with diverse main characters were culturally authentic, 35.14% were not culturally relevant. The findings of the content analyses should encourage educators to examine their classroom libraries to see if the diverse populations in their classrooms, and ones not present in their classrooms, are represented authentically and relevantly.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Matthews, Trishell M., "Examining the Prevalence and Representation of Diverse Populations in Children's Literature Found in Elementary Classroom Libraries" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1169.