A Study of the Availability of Multicultural Children's Literature in Treasure Valley Schools: Quality, Access and Inclusion
The purpose of this study is to conduct an analysis of the availability of quality multicultural children’s literature in Treasure Valley elementary schools. Of particular interest are several schools from the Boise and Kuna School Districts. Four schools will participate in the study, including at least one Spanish/English dual immersion school or program. Current research suggests multicultural literature supports the psychosocial well-being of students in all classrooms. Exposure to a variety of cultures increases awareness and acceptance among students, Dixon-Krauss (2001) cite evidence that reading multicultural literature “encourages children to reaffirm the values of their own culture and come to appreciate those of others” (p.80). Furthermore, multicultural literature, defined as literature that accurately portrays diverse views and cultures, has a significant impact on students’ developing identities. For these reasons this study focuses on the multicultural literature availability and content of school libraries in elementary schools. In this study I will investigate the availability, or lack thereof, of multicultural literature and the quality of the multicultural literature available in the school libraries by analyzing the library’s multicultural collection using a critical criteria to evaluate the books. This study will also take into account the need for multicultural literature in the particular schools by comparing the demographic population of the schools and the relationship to the library’s inclusion or lack of inclusion of multicultural literature. This study will prove useful to teachers, administrators, librarians, and parents when making decisions in regards to literature purchases and donations for school libraries. It also provides critical information that can be used to analyze student levels of engagement with library resources.
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