Book Selections of Economically Disadvantaged African American Kindergarteners Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Dawkins, Beth K.
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The research questions were: In comparison to their Caucasian and Latino peers, do African American kindergarteners select books based on multicultural content; and in comparison to their Caucasian and Latino peers, how do African American kindergarteners describe book selections they make for themselves, and peers of similar and different ethnicities? Participants included 160 kindergarten students from lower-income schools. Picture books representing different cultures were donated to participants' classrooms, and students were allowed to select the book they would most like to read. Students were also interviewed regarding rationales for book selections. Analyses of book selections provided no statistical significance regarding the relationship between race and students' book selections, however almost 50% of African American students made culturally-consistent book selections. Analyses of students' interviews presented seven main categories of rationales for book selections, including: Book Elements, Character Elements, Ethnic/Cultural Elements, External Influences, Prior Knowledge, Random, and Story Elements. For African American participants, Story Elements represented the most popular rationales for book selections (46%), and Ethnic/Cultural Content represented the second most popular rationales for book selections (18%). Results from the current study suggest that multicultural content may be an influence on students' book selections, but that further investigation is needed to examine the relationship between race and book selections. Results also suggest that while younger readers may be influenced by multicultural content in books, the most influencing factor on book selections may be the quality of the story- including the storyline, plot, illustrations and theme.
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  • In Copyright
  • Miller, Melissa A.
  • Open access

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