Presenter Information

Taylor Cavalovitch

Abstract

This action research project explores how the use of representational children’s literature in an elementary classroom might shape the engagement of emergent bilingual students who are underrepresented in the local context. Representational children’s literature is literature that represents students of all backgrounds. Students use this literature as either a window, observing a different perspective, or a mirror, the reader sees himself or herself in the text. Over a period of three weeks during my literacy field experience in the PreK-4 Leading Teacher program, I focused on one participant: a student of Venezuelan heritage who lives in Pittsburgh. Data collection included pre and post interviews and observations of the student during reading time. The findings suggest that the student had a better focus during the read aloud and comprehension of the text. The finding also suggests that it is easier to form a bond between teacher and student due to showing the student that they are valued in the classroom. This research supports the use of representational children’s literature in classrooms as a means for connecting with students’ ethnic and cultural backgrounds and increasing student engagement in literacy practices. Recommendations for aspiring teachers will be discussed.

School

School of Education

Advisor

Sandra Quinones

Submission Type

Paper

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Apr 6th, 12:00 AM

Representation Matters: How Representation in Children's Literature Influences Children of Different Ethnicities

This action research project explores how the use of representational children’s literature in an elementary classroom might shape the engagement of emergent bilingual students who are underrepresented in the local context. Representational children’s literature is literature that represents students of all backgrounds. Students use this literature as either a window, observing a different perspective, or a mirror, the reader sees himself or herself in the text. Over a period of three weeks during my literacy field experience in the PreK-4 Leading Teacher program, I focused on one participant: a student of Venezuelan heritage who lives in Pittsburgh. Data collection included pre and post interviews and observations of the student during reading time. The findings suggest that the student had a better focus during the read aloud and comprehension of the text. The finding also suggests that it is easier to form a bond between teacher and student due to showing the student that they are valued in the classroom. This research supports the use of representational children’s literature in classrooms as a means for connecting with students’ ethnic and cultural backgrounds and increasing student engagement in literacy practices. Recommendations for aspiring teachers will be discussed.

 

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