The Impact of Multicultural Literature in Education
As America continues to be the culturally rich and diverse nation that it is, there is a tremendous need for schools to be well-equipped with the tools to recognize and support each student’s unique culture. All students’ backgrounds deserve to be represented in the learning environment and curriculum and a foundational way of establishing a multicultural education is through literature. At any grade level, the use of culturally responsive literature can be a stepping stone in accommodating learners from all circles of life. In this capstone, a look at the definitions of multicultural literature and diversity in terms of their context in education will serve as a starting point. By looking at the learner, learning context, curriculum and strategies, the reasons for a variety of literature are highlighted to support its use to students. The grounds for supporting this topic are: the influence of diversity and how it affects each learner; issues with traditional canon in terms of learning principles, curriculum and strategies; advantages of attracting student interest by focusing on the learner; and the effort to create global citizens not only in the learning environment, but in the community. Weaved into these sections is a review of noted researchers’ work in the particular areas that serves as evidence-based reasoning and reinforcement of claims. Tools to use in evaluating children’s literature are included just before an annotated bibliography of quality children’s books. The books are centered on cultural identity and forming relationships across cultural boundaries as well as suggestions for implementation in the curriculum.