Abstract

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.

Thesis Completion

2022

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Blanch, Norine

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Elementary Education

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

5-1-2022

Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2022; it will then be open access.

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