• Using multicultural literature in an Elementary classroom

      Morse, Erica (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      The increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse children enrolling in elementary school means that white educators with limited cultural knowledge will be encountering classrooms with greater numbers of culturally diverse students. The problem arising from this increase is that with limited cultural knowledge comes limited knowledge about teaching "best practices" for use with culturally diverse students. Using multicultural literature in a classroom may be one way to increase teachers' cultural knowledge, but it raises the research question of what are effective or "best practices" for using multicultural literature in a culturally diverse elementary classroom? An extensive literature review and synthesize has produced five findings. First is that multicultural literature can have four uses in an elementary classroom: as self selected reading, as part of the curriculum, as a supplement to the curriculum, and as a teaching tool to generate classroom discussion. Best practices for these uses are to increase teachers' knowledge about the existence and quality of multicultural books; to use multicultural literature in the curriculum in a way that is cognitively and developmentally appropriate for the students; to use multicultural literature as a means for students to connect to cultural awareness and diversity and in ways that are meaningful to them; and to use the literature as a teaching tool for starting class discussions. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be available to them in the form of a pre-made DVD. [from abstract]