Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham

Second Advisor

Douglas Davis

Third Advisor

Annette Trefzer

Relational Format



Many rightly assume that textbooks prior to 1970 in the United States were not culturally responsive to African Americans, and that assumption includes that some research has been conducted on culturally responsive textbooks and African Americans since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, even in today's 21st century market, textbook editors and publishers continue to manufacture textbooks that now include African Americans and other ethnicities, but only occasionally in roles that build up the cultural capital of those people groups. In the 21st century there is an urgent need for culturally responsive teaching, "an approach that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impact knowledge, skills and attitudes" (Ladson-Billings, 2007), and we are lagging terribly. Gay (2010) charged that all students experience home to school discontinuities throughout their schooling experiences, and such discrepancies are considered more pronounced for ethnically and culturally diverse students, such as Hispanics and other English language learners (Gay, 2010; Muhammad, 2012). For these students, home to school cultural discontinuity emerges from cultural bias found in teaching culturally irresponsive texts. As a way of historically tracking this lack of cultural insensitivities through the ages, we will compare literature textbooks from the 1960s, the 1980s, and the year 2000, alongside a present day (2012) textbook to note how far multiculturalism in academic texts has advanced. Additionally, we will begin to explore how these culturally responsive, and irresponsive, texts effect the cultural capital of African American and Spanish-speaking ell students will be examined.


Emphasis: Secondary Education, Specialization: English



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