This Independent Study is an examination of teachers’ perceptions of using multicultural literature in public high school English classes in Northeast Ohio, as well as an evaluation of texts being used in these classrooms. Although the teachers in these classrooms are working to increase the amount of racially diverse literature utilized in their courses, some of the classrooms examined in this study would benefit from what I call a ‘Diversity Reboot,’ or a re-evaluation of the canonical literature used in English courses statewide. By looking at how teachers are currently incorporating diverse texts into their classrooms, as well as applying various educational theories, I give suggestions for creating a diverse curriculum that is rooted in anti-racist pedagogy and aims to sharpen students’ literature comprehension and social literacy skills. While talk of a fully representative curriculum is frequently embraced, it is often the case that the implementation of a diverse curriculum is only surface level and does not truly engage with social justice. When teachers align their lessons with the traditional American literary “canon,” or merely dabble in racially diverse works, they are a microcosm of the larger problem that is America’s vexed history with racial tension. My proposed ‘Reboot’ aims to address these issues by ensuring that anti-racist curricula are not only established but are sustained through the entirety of the school year.


Wingard, Leslie




Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Secondary Education


anti-racist pedagogy, English education, high school education, curriculum evaluation, secondary education, diversity, diversity in education, equal representation, representative curriculum, culturally relevant teaching, culturally responsive teaching

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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