From Vague Standards to Qualitative Clarity: A Validation Study of the Multicultural Text Selection Rubric

No Thumbnail Available
Abarquez-New, Jessica
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
Student populations in the United States secondary classrooms are becoming more diverse (NCES, 2019). With the growing cultural and linguistic diversity of students comes the need to include culturally diverse literature in the curriculum to reflect students’ cultural experiences and broaden and challenge their perspectives (Kim, 2014; Miller et al., 2008; Okoye-Johnson, 2011). The need for this inclusion is recognized in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). However, 14 U.S. states have opted either not to adopt the CCSS or have adapted them with major modifications. This dissertation is a mixed-methods study where the qualitative research develops quantitative measures and instruments (Steckler et al., 1992). First, by adopting Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a theoretical framework, I examine the intersection of language and ideology within the discourse of the standards of the National CCSS and the 14 different states (Wodak & Meyer, 2008; Albakry & Williams, 2016). Informed by the findings regarding how culturally diverse literature is constructed, a rubric template was developed to serve as a model for selecting multicultural texts. The second approach is a survey study to examine teacher perception of culturally diverse literature and its use in the classroom. CDA found patterns in the language used in the state standards that were vague and emphasized certain values of the states’ departments of education. The rubric helps clarify some of the vagueness set forth by those state standards and emphasize the application of the standard in the secondary classroom. As the rubric informed the creation of the survey, analysis of the responses found that the quantitative results did not fully support the qualitative research. Most of the rubric was supported by the survey responses; however, survey responses to many of the Authorship statements did not yield high factor loading scores. These responses can be the result of a small sample size as different sample sizes will yield different results on the survey. The dissertation has implications for best practices in guiding teachers in the selection of culturally diverse texts, teaching these texts effectively within the CCSS, and expanding student knowledge beyond the texts.
Culturally diverse literature, English Language Arts, Multicultural literature, Secondary education, State standards, Survey study, Education