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EDUC 400: Methods of Teaching Reading: Multicultural Children's Literature

Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Doors

Rudine Sims Bishop is Professor Emerita of Education at The Ohio State University, where she has taught courses on children’s literature. Her books include Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children’s Fiction (1982), Presenting Walter Dean Myers(1990), Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K–8 (1994), Wonders: The Best Children’s Poems of Effie Lee Newsome (1999), and Free within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children's Literature (2007). In Free Within Ourselves, Dr. Bishop takes the reader on a historical journey, from the earliest works written about African American children (W.E.B. DuBois' The Brownies Book) to John Steptoe's Stevie to the contemporary award-winning writer Christopher Paul Curtis and his Bud, Not Buddy, winner of both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.

Dr. Bishop has been recognized with numerous awards, including the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Outstanding Educator in English Language Arts Award and the Arbuthnot Award, and has been on the selection committees for both the Caldecott and Newbery Medals. Her life's work has been built on the foundation "that all American children, but especially Black children, need to learn the story of African Americans' struggle on the journey." Read her essay Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.

In 2017, Dr. Bishop was awarded the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.

Why We Need Diverse Books

The Importance of Multicultural Literature
• It allows students to see themselves in their texts.
• It allows everyone to learn about people all over the world.
• It encourages respect and empathy of all peoples.
• It expands understanding of history and geography.
• It provides daily discussion on diversity and current events.
• It promotes self-esteem and self acceptance.
• It helps create a school of global learners and leaders.

Steiner, Stanley F. Promoting a Global Community Through Multicultural Children's Literature. Englewood, Colo: Libraries Unlimited, 2001. Print.


Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT)

CRT is defined as using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of students to make learning more appropriate and effective. Teachers need to be culturally aware--which includes understanding the cultural characteristics that have direct implications for teaching and learning, including a group's cultural values, traditions, communication, learning styles, contributions, and relational patterns (cited by Gambrell from Hollins, 1994). This can all be achieved through children's literature.

Gambrell L. B. and Morrow, L. M. (2015). Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. Fifth Edition. Guildford Press. New York, NY. 

Audio Books Database