The representation of Asian Americans in children's literature : a content analysis of Texas reading basals.
Tang, Agnes C.
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Children’s literature serves as mirrors and windows for the students we teach today. Through literature, children should be able to see their own reflections as well as the world around them. Yet despite their long history in the United States, Asian Americans have not always been represented in children’s literature. This study analyzed the current Texas state adopted reading curriculum in third and fifth grades for Asian American representation. Number of stories was counted and the stories with Asian American characters were analyzed according to genre for authenticity and stereotypes. In addition, the lesson plans provided by the publishers were analyzed for integration of multicultural content. The findings indicated that efforts had been made to include more Asian American characters in the third and fifth grade basals, but not all of the major ethnic groups have been included. In addition, there has been an increase in realistic fiction and inclusion of stories written from an insider perspective; thus the images and descriptions appear to be authentic and devoid of racial and cultural stereotypes. However, lesson plans scored mostly on the additive level according to the four levels of multicultural content (Banks, 2007), indicating more work still needs to be done if multicultural literature is to accomplish its goal of building a just and more equitable world.