Academic Leadership Journal


Matthew Kenney


Ten elementary school teachers and one Spanish teacher enrolled in Multicultural Children’s and Adolescent Literature expecting to develop a long list of books for their classroom libraries that featured people with brown and black faces. Generally, coming into the course, their primary criterion for appropriate multicultural literature was that it included characters of color. These teachers, students in a graduate reading program, noted repeatedly in course reflection papers and online discussions that they never considered issues of power, privilege, and authenticity in the media in general and in literature in particular prior to their experience in the course. By the end of the course, however, these teachers understood the rationale for selecting multicultural literature from a more critical perspective and gained some strategies to begin to apply their new knowledge in their own classrooms.


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