The issue I found most interesting this week was in relation to selecting appropriate books when a student body is comprised of diverse students. In the YouTube clip we were shown in class, the librarian mentioned that all students should have a chance to be represented through a book, I would like to further elaborate on this issue.
I believe a book should help a student understand what really happened in history. I have had the privilege while at the University of Northern Iowa to have been selected to take professional development classes with Dr. Sarah Montgomery. Throughout the time spent with Dr. Montgomery, her passion for students to learn the truths of history was passed on to her students; as a class, we spent many periods learning the truth behind issues that were skimmed over during our elementary education. For example, instead of teaching students the famous line, “Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492”, a teacher could teach the truth about the life of Christopher Columbus who was actually the first transatlantic slave trader.
I believe a book should be relevant to the life of a student; is the student going to find the book interesting? Will the book hold the attention of the reader? Can a student personally relate to the story?
I believe a book should not reinforce gender stereotypes. For example, when teaching about the Civil War, a teacher could include books about women who played a big role in it.
I believe the challenge of finding appropriate books for the classroom is a challenge that every teacher should hold dear to their heart. A book can be so much more than a story, it can be a window into another world. At the end of the day, it is my belief that diversity is the one true thing that we all have in common. As teachers, we have the chance to help create a new society where diversity will not be a factor in segregation, but what helps unify us as a nation! I found a great blog that is an advocate of getting more multicultural literature into schools. This blog recommends multicultural books that address common core state standards, language arts, leveled classroom libraries, math, science, social studies, and STEM classroom libraries based on the age group you select! Check out their blog at http://blog.leeandlow.com/2013/08/12/teaching-writers-craft-with-multicultural-literature/. I would like to leave the reader with an interesting tidbit of information I found on their website…