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Utilizing a Rubric to Identify Diversity in Children’s Literature

Addressing Diversity in Literacy Instruction

ISBN: 978-1-78714-049-3, eISBN: 978-1-78714-048-6

Publication date: 3 November 2017


To describe the development of a rubric for identifying diversity in children’s literature to inform literature selection for classroom instruction. Drawing on research literature and data collection reporting the need for increased awareness of the use of diverse children’s literature in elementary and middle school classrooms, we designed and field-tested a rubric for use in identifying diversity in children’s literature. Using constant comparative methods to identify themes in the data, we continually refined the categories in a rubric designed to guide the selection of diverse children’s literature. Content analysis of children’s literature for diverse elements informed the development of the rubric categories. The results of this study produced a field-tested rubric that can be utilized by classroom teachers and researchers to guide their literature selections with the goal of representing increased diversity. Findings demonstrated that a rubric with four clearly defined categories was more user-friendly to classroom teachers, and that applying the rubric when discussing children’s literature led to conversation and collaboration among colleagues. This study demonstrated that the rubric can be applied to literature selections with classroom teachers and can be used to stimulate conversation about diversity in children’s literature as it applies to the classroom context. This chapter’s rubric provides a useful tool for classroom teachers. Teachers can use this tool to assist them in selecting diverse children’s literature for their classrooms. Administrators and literacy coaches can use this rubric as a way to stimulate conversation surrounding diverse children’s literature.



Arnold, J.M. and Sableski, M.-K. (2017), "Utilizing a Rubric to Identify Diversity in Children’s Literature", Ortlieb, E. and Cheek, E.H. (Ed.) Addressing Diversity in Literacy Instruction (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 8), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 207-228.



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