“I Don’t Want to Speak for You”: Pre-Service and In-Service Reading Teachers’ Attitudes and Perceptions on the Use of Multicultural Texts in the K-8 Classroom
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The purpose of this dissertation study is to explore understandings of multicultural literature, ways in which it is being utilized in classrooms, how it is perceived by pre-service and in-service teachers, and what can be done to ensure more students are exposed to high quality authentic multicultural children’s literature in the future. This set of three inter-related studies used qualitative methodologies to conduct a systematic literature review and two case studies. A systematic literature review was conducted to examine articles in practitioner-based journals in the Reading/Language arts field that describe K-8 classroom experiences using multicultural literature. Initial searches turned up 169 articles. However, only 16 articles were included due to predetermined criteria. Three major categories of articles were found. Those focused on teachers or researchers desired a) outcomes for using multicultural texts, b) types of activities utilized in the articles, and c) theories used to support the use of multicultural literature within articles. A pre-service teacher case study was conducted to develop an understanding of the attitudes and perceptions pre-service teachers, after taking a multicultural literature course, hold about multicultural literature’s use in their future classrooms. Participants in the current study (n=7) were enrolled as education majors in a pre-service teacher education program at a large public university in Texas. All participants indicated a desire to teach in a K-8 Reading/Language Arts classroom upon graduation. Participants ranged in age from 20 to 24. Results were organized by starting with the more general themes regarding orientations towards teaching and literature, then move to more specific themes regarding multicultural texts. An in-service teacher case study was conducted to develop an understanding of the attitudes and perceptions of in-service teachers, after teaching in various classroom environments, hold about multicultural literature’s use in their classrooms. Participants in the current study (n=6) were K-8 teachers in Texas and had experience teaching reading/language arts. Participants ranged in age from 30 to 55. Results were organized by starting with the more general themes regarding orientations towards teaching and literature, then move to more specific themes regarding multicultural texts. Three key conclusions that can be made from the included studies are: a) teachers would benefit from more guidance and support for using multicultural literature, b) by more explicitly linking literacy and/or teaching theories in research articles of multicultural literature would benefit teachers who are trying to accommodate their students’ needs with the ever-evolving educational standards set by federal and state guidelines, and c) that real-world teaching tips need to be provided to teachers to overcome practical barriers.
Franks, Amanda Deanne (2017). “I Don’t Want to Speak for You”: Pre-Service and In-Service Reading Teachers’ Attitudes and Perceptions on the Use of Multicultural Texts in the K-8 Classroom. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from