Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
Topics
Discussion
Announcements
 

Farmhands and Factory Workers, Honesty and Humility: The Portrayal of Social Class and Morals in English Language Learner Childrenís Books


by Joelle Sano - 2009

Background/Context: Although much research has evaluated childrenís books for depictions of gender, little has centered on the portrayal of immigrants and social class. This investigation utilizes Bourdieuís theory of capital reproduction in education, Durkheimís conception of collective conscience and morals, and Bowles and Gintisís critique of schooling to evaluate these depictions and to investigate the functions of English language learner (ELL) education.

Focus of Study: This analysis investigates the representation of immigrants and class in childrenís books read aloud in ELL classrooms.

Research Design:Using lists provided by a leading school of education, the investigation uses a content analysis of 50 books often read aloud to ELL students based on five economic and cultural capital indicators. Additionally, the research included a content analysis of the morals presented by these books and by the past 20 Caldecott Medal-winning books.

Findings: Findings suggest strong differences in class portrayals and morals between ELL classroom and Caldecott Medal-winning books. Additionally, the evidence shows that the ELL books portray various ethnic immigrant groups differently, often supporting popular stereotypes about these ethnicities.

Conclusions and Recommendations: The study provides possible implications of the findings on the educational and career aspirations of ELL students and suggests that future researchers focus on participant-observation to expand these findings.

Several content analysis studies have explored textbooks and children’s books for portrayals of gender and race, but the depiction of social class and immigrants in these books has been largely understudied. With the recent debates over immigrant policies and the funds directed toward English language learner (ELL) public education, it is important to explore what is being taught in ELL classrooms. Addressing these issues through a content analysis of children’s literature used in ELL classrooms, this study attends to the following questions: How are immigrants portrayed in children’s books? Are different ethnic groups portrayed differently? How is class portrayed in children’s books, both by immigrant and nonimmigrant characters? What morals and messages are portrayed in children’s books, both by immigrant and nonimmigrant characters? How do these class depictions and moral messages impact the children who read/are exposed to these books?


REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


Of the many content analyses of gender in children’s literature, the most noted is Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada, and Ross’s study of the ratio of male to female characters in Caldecott Medal-winning books (1972). The study found that female main characters were almost nonexistent in these books and that male characters were depicted as adventurous whereas females were passive. This study has been updated several times by authors (Gooden & Gooden, 2001; Kortenhaus & Demarest, 1993; La Dow, 1976) who found that portrayals of male and female characters were more comparable in recent Caldecott Medal-winning books.


Fewer studies have analyzed school books for content on social class. Jean Anyon’s (1979) analysis of the portrayal of labor unions and economic growth from 1865 to 1917 in American history textbooks is often cited in this field. Anyon found that most of the textbooks she explored presented a negative view of labor unions and strikes. Additionally, Anyon found that the textbooks illustrated “robber barons” as generous philanthropists rather than monopoly owners and made no connection between workers’ struggles and these economic giants. Anyon argued that such portrayals have a negative effect on students, particularly working-class students, who could benefit from labor unions. Additionally, she claimed that such content takes the form of Bourdieu’s symbolic violence1 and imposes a sense of false consciousness on these students.


Other authors have used content analysis to investigate the consequences that such messages create. Looking particularly at children’s books, Gooden and Gooden (2001) argued that children’s identity and self-esteem could be affected by negative portrayals of their gender. Similarly, Ochman (1996) found that girls had a greater increase in self-esteem if they heard stories about an achieving girl rather than an achieving boy. This implies that if children hear stories about strong, competent boys but not girls, the boys are more likely to experience an increase in self-esteem, whereas the girls’ self-esteem will not improve. Ochman suggested that this may cause some girls to limit career aspirations. These concepts could transfer to the portrayal of different ethnicities in ELL books, in which children may restrict themselves to the job, class, and class culture that are depicted by the immigrant characters in the books.


Expanding focus beyond children’s literature, Zimet (1976) explored the broader impact that reading content has on people’s lives. Zimet noted that Maslow (1954) and Bernard (1961) both showed that “books have a favorable influence on children’s personality development” (p. 14), implying that reading impacts a child’s sense of self. Furthermore, Zimet pointed to Singh (1973) and Howe (1971), who claimed that “gross distortions in . . . social class . . . in children’s literature and textbooks play a direct part in forming children’s attitudes towards themselves and towards others” (p. 15). That finding has a direct link to this project concerning the depiction of social class in ELL books and the coinciding implications.


Zimet (1976) also noted that the circumstance under which reading is done affects the strength of the reading’s influence. This is particularly important in consideration of children’s literature because of the role of the teacher. Because this investigation examines books that are typically read aloud by the teacher, the books carry extra authority. By presenting them to the students in a read-aloud setting, the teacher may be validating the books’ messages and strengthening the beliefs that the books present.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND


Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act officially guarantees special instruction for English language learners in public schools; it states that people in the United States cannot be discriminated against based on their country of origin. Expanding this, in Lau v. Nichols, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Department of Education’s May 25, 1970, Memorandum, which directed school districts to take steps to help ELL students overcome language barriers and to ensure that they participate meaningfully in the districts’ educational programs. Officially, ELL instruction is based on three principles from these rulings and is monitored by the Office of Civil Rights.2

 

These mandates form the foundation for instruction, but most ELL curriculum is selected on a district, school, or even individual teacher level. In practice, ELL materials and curriculum are not as highly regulated as the traditional public school curriculum. According to discussions with several ELL teachers in Massachusetts, where there are additional state-level ELL curriculum guidelines, books and materials used in ELL classrooms are chosen almost entirely at the teacher’s discretion (Massachusetts Department of Education, 2006).3


In evaluating the curriculum of ELL instruction, it is also important to consider the economic background of ELL students because many come from disadvantaged households. Examining the economic demographics of ELL students, the National Center for Children in Poverty claims that two thirds of children of recent U.S. immigrants are low income. Additionally, the median income for full-time year-round workers is lower for the ELL population than for the native population for both male and female wage earners. Furthermore, 62% of children of low-income recent immigrants have a parent who is employed full time, year round, compared with 51% of children of low-income native-born parents. Nevertheless, the poverty rate for naturalized citizens was more than 10% lower than that for noncitizens, suggesting that many may ELL students come from lower class backgrounds.4


METHOD AND MATERIALS


This research employed content analysis in accordance with Neuman (2003) and Taylor (2003). Neuman noted that content analysis is a method that seeks to analyze the content of the text, which can refer to words, meanings, pictures, symbols, ideas, themes, or any message that can be communication. Additionally, the investigation followed directions for literary analysis prescribed by Alridge (2006). Alridge referenced historian Richard Beringer, who argued that proper literary analysis “involves reading source material and drawing evidence from that material to be used in supporting a point of view or thesis” (p. 664). Alridge expanded on Beringer’s recommendation in his analysis of master narratives of Martin Luther King, Jr. presented by American History textbooks. Alridge stated that literary analysis involves (1) reading the literature, (2) noting the themes, (3) discussing the themes, and (4) supporting conclusions with examples. This investigation attempts to follow these recommendations.


SAMPLING


This content analysis evaluated 50 ELL books from two lists that were provided by a leading school of education. The first is a list of 25 books often read aloud in ELL classrooms, and the second is a list of children’s books on particular ethnicities recommended by the school for ELL classrooms.5 Because the first list represented five broad ethnic groups, the investigation also used 25 books from the second list with characters in these groups, intending to increase the number of books representing each ethnicity.6 This method is in accordance with Taylor (2003), who suggested purposive sampling as the best sampling strategy for this type of analysis. Additionally, the study analyzed the 20 most recent Caldecott Medal-winning books7 for a comparison, based on the publication times for the ELL books. The analysis also included Caldecott Medal-winning books because winners often gross sales of 60,000 books, and teachers and educators encourage children to read these books (Weitzman et al., 1972). Therefore, because of their prestige and popularity, the investigation hypothesized that many students will be presented with Caldecott Medal-winning books and their messages in the non-ELL classroom. There was no overlap between the Caldecott Medal-winning books and the recommended ELL books.


THEORETICAL BACKGROUND AND CODING FRAME


The research analyzed all books in terms of social class depiction, and a content analysis was performed based on five categories symbolizing social class. To create this coding frame, the investigation employed Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of cultural and social reproduction through education. Bourdieu believed that a main purpose of schooling was the transmission of educational capital and that schools catered to students with higher cultural capital acquired in their upbringing (Bourdieu, 2000). Bourdieu argued that schools produce and transmit cultural capital, thus manufacturing symbolic power and controlling the allocation of status and privilege. Bourdieu explained that in societies in which hereditary transmission of power no longer exists (or is not as strong as in the past), education systems reproduce class inequality.


Swartz (1997) pinpointed three functions of an education system that exemplify Bourdieu’s claim that the education system is the strongest transmitter of social inequality in modern societies. These functions are:


(1) Conserving, inculcating, and consecrating a cultural heritage

(2) Reproducing rather than redistributing unequal distribution of capital

(3) Legitimation: deflecting attention from its social reproduction function


Swartz explained that it was Bourdieu’s belief that the education system allowed students with higher cultural capital to internalize their status and to excel, whereas students with lower cultural capital were always struggling to catch up. Bourdieu argued that students who enter school with little cultural capital must gain capital through assimilation in order to succeed. Harker (1990), in an analysis of Bourdieu’s sociology of education, explained that the education system “transforms social classifications into academic classifications” (p. 88). In this way, Harker, through Bourdieu, implied that schools use cultural capital to further segment class differences.


Swartz (1997) also emphasized Bourdieu’s discussion of habitus in creating and maintaining social inequality. Swartz defined habitus as “a set of relatively permanent and largely unconscious ideas about one’s chances of success and how society works that are common to members of a social class or status group” (p. 197). Such class distinctions are mediated by aspirations, expectations, cultural style, and knowledge (in educational performance and attainment). Swartz explained that habitus is the mediator between practice and structures and is the reason that educational decisions are based on dispositional rather than conscious rational calculations. Harker (1990) supported this idea with evidence that parents with lower cultural capital make poorer education decisions for their children as compared with those with higher cultural capital based on their habitus.


Using Bourdieu’s arguments, with the consideration of Harker (1990) and Swartz (1997), this investigation analyzed the 50 ELL books based on a five-category coding frame. In creating these categories, several studies were referenced that make distinctions about capital. Holt (2000) investigated respondents’ choices in food, clothing, home décor and furnishings, music, television, movies, reading, socializing, vacations, sports, and hobbies in terms of high and low cultural capital. Aydin (2006) used similar categories to make distinctions between social classes in modern-day Turkey, using housing standards, ownership of appliances and car, habitus (including information on college attendance, household debt, and savings), leisure and entertainment, and consumption of goods.


This study used these as guidelines for five capital indicators: (1) jobs and careers mentioned in the books, (2) discussions of economic capital (using Aydin’s (2006) emphasis on savings and debt), (3) housing standards and ownership of car/types of transportation, and (4) the reading of books and newspapers. Because many main characters in these books are children, this investigation included the fifth category, the character’s prized possessions, as a substitute for Holt’s (2000) employment of taste in household décor and clothing, which is not usually a child’s decision. The investigation analyzed the Caldecott Medal-winning books with the same cultural indicators. Taylor (2003) explained that content analysis can be inductive, in which the researcher identifies important themes as she reads; deductive, in which the researcher develops hypotheses and uses predetermined categories to test these hypotheses; or a combination of both types. This analysis used the inductive approach as the researcher read the books multiple times and developed the coding frame after several readings.


In addition to Aydin’s (2006) and Holt’s (2000) studies, this study considered Swartz’s (1997) summary of Bourdieu’s theories on education in creation of these categories. Relating to the function of “conserving a cultural heritage,” the characters’ prized possessions are intended to show both how characters preserve some native culture and how they adapt to the American, and often more materialistic, culture. Second, the purpose of “reproducing rather than redistributing unequal distribution of capital” is demonstrated through the jobs mentioned in the books, the discussion of savings, the presence of books and newspapers, and the ownership/standards of housing and cars. This investigation hypothesizes that these depictions show children in ELL classes, and certain ethnic groups in particular, their expected social class. Finally, the concept of “legitimation” is in reference to counterarguments that these books are chosen for the arguably “relatable” storylines and characters. Keeping in mind Bourdieu’s (1977) argument that aspirations are formed by an “internalization of objective probabilities for success” (p. 77), these “relatable” aspects may also be harmful to the students’ goal setting and legitimate their route to low income jobs.


The research also involved a content analysis of the morals and messages presented in the ELL books in comparison with the Caldecott Medal-winning books, as outlined in Table 1. This was based on Emile Durkheim’s (1925) definition of morality, which focuses on solidarity with the community as a sense of duty. Durkheim argued that the role of schools was to socialize children and instill in them a collective conscience, the common beliefs and morals of a community. He contended that an important job of the teacher was to create this attachment with the greater community. Nisbet (1974) noted  that Durkheim outlined three aspects of morality—Attachment to Groups, Discipline, and Autonomy—which act as the coding frame for the analysis. The moral category Attachment to Groups represents this concept of collective consciousness. In this analysis, family, kindness/helpfulness, honesty, and manners fall under this title because they express concern for the community and the family group.


Table 1. Durkheim’s Moral Categories and Book Messages


Attachment to Groups

Discipline

Autonomy

Family

American Dream

Education/Study Hard

Helpfulness

Hard Work

Creativity

Manners

Persistence

 

Honesty

Humility

 


Second, Durkheim (1925) described discipline as “control of desire” and “personal restraint” (pp. 48–49). In this way, the study argues that the American Dream, which purports delayed gratification, fits in this category as well as hard work, persistence, and humility. next, Durkheim (1925) described autonomy as “more complete knowledge of things” (p. 119) and an awareness of social existence. He explained that autonomy is the personal aspect of morality that emphasizes self-reflection and introspective consciousness. This study places messages about education and creativity in this category because they recognize the power of the mind and grooming of the individual conscience. Further, masculinity is included as a moral message in these books because of its strong presence in ELL books and its absence in the Caldecott books. This investigation hypothesizes that this difference is influential in the reproduction of traditional gender roles in ELL students. Neuman (2003) referred to this method as semantic analysis because it focuses on looking for meaning in the context of the text rather than counting words or phrases.


Finally, the study also looked particularly for differences between books that focus on one ethnicity or country. For these comparisons, the books were divided into the categories of Hispanic (including Mexico and Central and South America), East Asian (including Japan, China, Vietnam, and North and South Korea), Eastern European and the former Soviet Union, Western European, and Jewish.8 Within these categories, 12 books (24%) were classified as Hispanic; 18 (36%) as East Asian; 6 (12%) as Eastern European and the former Soviet Union; 6 (12%) as Western European; and 8 (16%) as Jewish.


RESULTS


In summary, the ELL books showed similar storylines and themes, particularly by ethnicity.9 All books except three had an immigrant child or a first-generation American child as the main character. Two of these exceptions had immigrant grandparents as the protagonists, and the third featured a godmother and godchild. The storylines in the majority of the books, particularly with the East Asian group, focused on an immigrant child feeling “different,” lonely, and even angry in America and then overcoming this alienation by explaining an aspect of his or her culture to others. The exceptions to this storyline were the several Asian books that were set in Japanese internment camps. The books with Hispanic characters had a greater discussion of work and money, as well as folk tales and superstitions. The Eastern European books most often focused on the immigration journey itself, with stories of trips to Ellis Island in search of a “better life” in America. The Western European books told stories of merging American and European (usually Italian) cultures while being grateful for life in America. Finally, the Jewish books focused on integration of Jewish and American cultures and paid special attention to observing Jewish traditions in America. This discussion focuses on particular books from each ethnicity in more depth to provide the reader with a clearer sense of these books. The discussion notes other books that share these themes, but the concentration is on these examples for purposes of space.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER BOOKS


Evidence from the analysis of the indicators of capital in the ELL books showed differences among the ethnic groups but also several overlapping themes. The most common theme was the presence of manual nonfarming occupations across all the ethnicities, especially among Hispanic, East Asian, and Eastern European characters (Table 2). The most common similarities were between the Hispanic and Eastern European books; both had a high number of laboring jobs, and each had three books that focused heavily on “poor farmers.” The striking differences are in the category of Entrepreneur/Small Business, which was most present in Jewish books, and the category of Professional Worker, which is dominated by East Asian books. Although the East Asian books account for 36% of the sample, this finding is still noteworthy because neither Hispanic nor Eastern European books featured professional-level jobs. Along with the portrayal of Jewish characters as small business owners, these findings suggest that Hispanic and Eastern European immigrants do one type of work, and Jewish and East Asian immigrants do another, supporting certain stereotypes. The Western European books did not focus heavily on work and instead featured predominantly moral themes, as will be discussed.


Table 2. Frequency of Jobs in ELL Books for Each Ethnicity


 

Jewish

Hispanic

East Asian

E. Europe

W. Europe

Manual nonfarming jobs

7

5

5

1

1

Entrepreneur/small business

1

4

1

2

4

Farming/farm worker

3

1

3

0

1

Factory worker

3

0

3

0

2

Professional worker

0

6

0

1

3


n=50

Note: Several books presented more than one type of job.


A second break between the Eastern European and Hispanic books and the Asian books was in the discussion of savings and money. In the Eastern European and Hispanic books, discussions of money centered on the lack of savings and opportunities in the native land, and the abundance of opportunities in America. I Speak English for My Mom (Staneck, 1989) is a story of a young bilingual girl who must help her Spanish-speaking mother with everyday communication, such as during doctor’s visits and grocery trips. At one point in the book, the main character and her mother have this telling interaction: “After supper, we count the money and pay the bills. If any money is left, we save it in a red tin can. ‘You should put that money in the bank,’ I tell mom. ‘No,’ says Mom, ‘I am not ready for that’” (Staneck, p. 9). This suggests to the reader that this Spanish-speaking ethnicity does not have sophisticated financial skills. This was not the case with the East Asian characters, such as Unhei, a protagonist who tries to teach other children how to pronounce her name in the book The Name Jar (Choi, 2003). Here the discussion of money involved Unhei’s ability to use her Korean name stamp to open a savings account. Similarly, in the Jewish books, there was a common theme of children using what little money they had to help others, such as a young girl buying items to make a cake for her mother, and another putting her birthday money in the “money room” as a mitzvah. Similar to the job depiction, the Western European books had little, if any, discussion of money at all, suggesting that this was not of great importance to these characters.


Types of housing and transportation in these books also varied, particularly because four of the East Asian books focused on Japanese internment camps. A common theme of the characters in all books was the idea that in America, people could have large houses with fences and trees in the yard. This was particularly true of the Eastern European books, in which characters wished for bigger houses and dreamed of homes with five rooms. Additionally, whereas the Japanese characters were forced to leave their houses in four books, none of the Hispanic characters even owned a house. The only real discussion of a home in the Hispanic books was by the farm workers in Going Home (Bunting, 1998a), a story of a Mexican family living in a house owned by their farm foreman. The young male protagonist of this story does not seem upset or proud of this fact, but his relatives in Mexico believe that his family is wealthy because they can live in the United States. Finally, two of the Jewish books discussed moving from an apartment into a bigger house in the suburbs, suggesting that upward mobility was possible for this group.


Car ownership and transportation vehicles showed a similar pattern to housing. In separate books, both a Mexican family (from Going Home; Bunting, 1998a) and a Japanese family owned a station wagon. The Mexican family described their car as old, whereas the Japanese family called the car warm and comfortable. The East Asian books also made more mention of cars overall; one character rode in a limousine, and another character’s father owned a pickup truck. The European books made no mention of car ownership but discussed taking buses, boats, and ferries, therefore emphasizing public transportation.


Following Aydin’s (2006) interpretation of the readership of newspaper and books as an indicator of class, this investigation analyzed the presence of books and newspapers in these stories. Overall, there was not much discussion of books and newspapers in the ELL books. It was most apparent in the Jewish and East Asian books, in which two characters read the New York Times daily, and two additional characters claimed to read many books and even have “too many books.” However, in Si, Se Puede! (Cohn, 2005), the protagonist is elated when his mother reads to him a newspaper article about the Justice for Janitors strike she is involved in, as if it is a special treat rather than a habitual activity. These differentiations suggest that certain groups can and do read books and newspapers often, whereas for others, it is a luxury, and for others still, nonexistent.


The prized possessions that these characters held also varied by ethnicity (Table 3). The prized possessions of Hispanic characters were largely more material than those of other groups, which were connected to family, memories, or culture. An example of this is in the Asian book, The Bracelet (Uchida, 1993), in which a White American girl gives the main character, a Japanese American girl named Emi, a gold bracelet before she leaves for an internment camp. Upon losing the bracelet, Emi is crushed until she realizes that she does not need the item to remember her friend. This is similar to other East Asian books, in which prized possessions are connected to a person or a memory. Likewise, in Eastern European books, characters’ prized possessions contain some memory of home and comfort and are usually simple and worn, such as an old blanket. In the Hispanic books, however, the discussion is of how nice the children’s clothes are in Going Home (Bunting, 1998a) and how a Mexican boy cherishes his L.A. Lakers cap in A Day’s Work (Bunting, 1994a). In A Day’s Work, the young male protagonist feels connected to a landscaper who hires him and his grandfather as illegal day workers because they both have the same hat. Perhaps this is a connection to wanting to “fit in” or “be American,” but there is some disconnect; this character is reminded of his illegal worker status and his desire to have American goods like the cap. The Jewish books presented material items but also connected them to memories or people. For example, in Annushka’s Voyage (Tarbescu, 1998), the story of two young Jewish girls who immigrate to America, Annushka and her sister cherish their fancy candlesticks because they were a gift from their grandmother. Additionally, when material items are presented in Jewish books, they tend to involve something with Jewish culture, such as the candlesticks used at Seder, rather than assimilation, as in the Hispanic books. Finally, the Western European books emphasize symbols of the native culture, such as the Italian horn charm, but also give particular importance to anything “American,” especially involving the Statue of Liberty. This speaks to the Western European books’ integration of native and American cultures.


Table 3. Prized Possessions of Characters in ELL Books by Ethnicity


Hispanic

East Asian

E. European

W. European

Jewish

L.A. Lakers cap

Letters

Doll

Fake fur coat

Candlesticks

Garnets

Lotus seed

Blanket

Italian horn

Dollar bill

Nice clothes

Grandma’s shoes

Teapot

Statue of Liberty

Chess set

Velvet dress

Gold bracelet

Wooden wren

Chess set

Books

 

Name stamp

Mom’s coat

 

Wine glasses

 

Mom’s picture

  

Best dishes

 

Magic rug

  

The Torah

 

Silk Flowers

  

Cake pan

 

Cub Scout uniform

   
 

A shell

   
 

A bird

   



MORALS


There were many overlapping morals in these ELL books, but others that were represented more by one culture than another. As shown in Table 4, the Hispanic and East Asian books presented more morals overall and particularly emphasized hard work, education, and manners. Books of all ethnicities included the morals of the American Dream, persistence and kindness/helpfulness, which is not surprising given that many characters were immigrants who were traveling to America and adapting to a new culture. The East Asian books and the Western European books both discussed humility, but in very different contexts. For example, one Asian book explained humility in reference to bragging about being a war hero, but a Western European book complained of a sister who was “showing off her smarts.” This speaks to the emphasis of education messages in the East Asian, Hispanic, and Jewish books and the absence of it in the Western European and Eastern European books. This absence suggests which groups should and do focus on education, which relates to the jobs presented for Asian and Jewish characters and describes the possibility of upward mobility for Hispanic characters. Hispanic and East Asian books also emphasized creativity in terms of artistic endeavors, whereas the Jewish and Eastern European books presented creativity as a method of survival and of bargaining. Particularly intriguing was the finding that messages about honesty were noted only in Hispanic books, in which characters learned important lessons about telling the truth. Furthermore, a Jewish character and a Japanese character even lied and faced no consequences. This is interesting because it speaks to the stereotype that certain ethnicities can and cannot be trusted.


Table 4. Morals/Themes Presented in ELL books by Ethnicity


 

Hispanic

East Asian

E. Europe

W. Europe

Jewish

Family

6

8

4

2

6

Kindness/helpfulness

6

4

3

2

2

American Dream

4

5

3

3

4

Persistence

3

4

1

2

3

Hard work

4

6

1

0

0

Masculinity

2

6

0

1

2

Creativity

4

5

1

2

0

Education/study hard

4

4

0

0

3

Honesty

4

0

0

0

0

Manners

1

3

0

0

0

Humility

1

3

0

1

0


Supporting Durkheim’s moral category of Attachment to Groups, the theme of family was central to books in each group, which is not surprising given that many immigrants come to the United States knowing only their family members. Also in this group, kindness/helpfulness was present with all ethnicities and was displayed in interactions between family members and within ethnic groups. Representing Durkheim’s concept of Discipline, books in every ethnic group presented the morals of the American Dream and of persistence. The other two morals in this category, hard work and humility, were seen most often in the East Asian books, suggesting that these are particularly important to this group. The morals representing autonomy, education, and creativity were most present in the East Asian and Hispanic books, which also communicated the most morals overall. However, these books use education and creativity as secondary or complementary morals rather than the premier message. For example, in Going Home (Bunting, 1998a), the main messages are about a family, with small references to studying hard to succeed in the United States. These findings suggest that the morals presented in theses ELL books are designed have students assimilate American ideas and connect them to this culture rather than emphasize personal consciousness.


CALDECOTT MEDAL-WINNING BOOKS


Overall, the storylines in the Caldecott books differ much more than those in the ELL books, but most focus on the character going on an adventure, the character displaying bravery and ingenuity by overcoming a challenge, and the importance of friendship. Additionally, unlike the ELL books, the characters vary in age, from young children to aged men, and animals also play protagonist roles.


When comparing the Caldecott Medal-winning books with the ELL read-aloud books, several differences arise, such as the range of jobs in the Caldecott books compared with the ELL books. As expected, the Caldecott books include many more professional or white-collar jobs, such those of politicians, than the ELL books (Table 5). Additionally the Caldecott books included no depiction of either a factory or farm worker and only one manual nonfarming job, that of a janitor. In addition, there were similar percentages of small business/entrepreneurs presented in both sets, but there were differences in the types of businesses. For example, in the ELL book Heroes (Mochizuki, 1995), the character’s father owns a gas station, and in the Caldecott book Mirette on the High Wire (McCully, 1992), the protagonist’s mother runs a hotel frequented by famous performers. Though both parents own a business, their income and the prestige associated with these businesses are most likely different. Similar to jobs, the discussion of money does not pertain to increasing savings and moneymaking opportunities but instead focuses on education and research funding. The discussion of housing and transportation is limited in comparison with the ELL books, but there are several mentions of trains and an overall theme of transportation as adventurous, which is not seen in the ELL books. This depiction of transportation as exciting rather than a way simply to get to and from work or school may reflect ideas about life having more exciting and adventurous opportunities for nonimmigrants in general.


Table 5.  Jobs Presented in the Caldecott Books as Compared With the ELL Books (%)


 

Caldecott Books

ELL Books

Manual nonfarming jobs

5%

38%

Entrepreneur/small business

20%

24%

Farming/farm worker

0

16%

Factory worker

0

16%

Professional worker

40%

20%


Caldecott books n=20.

ELL books n=50.

Note. These numbers are depicted by % because of the difference in the sample number for the Caldecott books and the ELL books. Because some books displayed more than one profession and others displayed none, these totals are not intended to equal 100%.


Two additional breaks from the ELL books are the characters’ prized possessions and the presence of books and newspapers in the Caldecott Medal winners. The possessions were overwhelmingly less materialistic than in the ELL books, most often a pet, something in nature, such as snowflakes or owls, or something magical. The importance of friends, with the inclusion of pets as friends, was also more apparent in these books as compared with the ELL books. For example, in Hey Al (Yorinks, 1986), a janitor named Al is tempted by a magical bird to escape to “paradise.” Al brings his dog, Eddie, with him to this place. Eddie is lost when they try to escape, and Al is devastated. Although Eddie luckily returns, the message presented is the importance of friends over a material paradise.


The Caldecott winners also made more mention of books and newspapers. Several books featured characters actively reading and studying, and one book even explains how to use an encyclopedia. Using Holt’s (2000) differentiation of cultural capital and tastes, the Caldecott books seem to display more high cultural capital (HCC) than the ELL books because they mimic the tastes of his HCC interviewees. For example, the less materialistic prized possessions in the Caldecott books mimic the less extravagant vacation and restaurant choices of Holt’s HCC interviewees. In this way, the Caldecott books are transmitting ideas and capital that the ELL books are not.


MORALS


The Caldecott books also presented several differences in the morals and messages (Table 6). Though a number of the themes overlapped, such as persistence and creativity, they were defined differently. For example, creativity took the role of ingenuity; characters in two books outsmarted villains, and another manipulated a jacket into many articles. Persistence was also a theme but was connected to bravery and physical tasks, such as tightrope walking. Rather than focusing on family, the theme of kindness and helpfulness was connected to bravery and friendship as characters aided each other in setting and reaching goals. Finally, the theme of education was depicted in the concrete terms of reaching an occupation, like becoming a scientist, rather than the more loosely defined theme of “studying hard” seen in the ELL books.


Table 6. Morals/Themes Presented in ELL Books by Ethnicity (%)


 

Caldecott Books

ELL Books

American Dream

0

38%

Persistence

30%

26%

Hard work

5%

22%

Masculinity

0

22%

Creativity

35%

22%

Humility

0

10%

Kindness/helpfulness

15%

34%

Education/study hard

10%

22%

Manners

0

8%

Family

20%

52%

Honesty

5%

8%


Caldecott books n=20.

ELL books n=50.


Unlike the ELL books that emphasized Durkheim’s Attachment to Groups, the Caldecott books presented messages of Autonomy by emphasizing creativity and education in particular. There was also no mention of the American Dream or humility, and little mention of hard work in the Caldecott Medal-winning books, suggesting that discipline is not stressed as much here as in the ELL books. Additionally, the messages concerning persistence were often shaped in relation to bravery, which was not present in the ELL books but is often associated with American heroes. The greater presence of messages of Attachment to Groups in the ELL books may reflect a belief that the immigrant characters and the ELL audience need saturation of these morals to instill the collective consciousness.


The presence of the masculinity message in the ELL books, particularly the Hispanic and East Asian books, and the lack of this message in the Caldecott Medal-winning books is also of note. As suggested by research on gender roles in award-winning books (Gooden & Gooden, 2001; Ochman, 1996), such gender portrayals serve to legitimate inequality and perpetuate traditional gender roles. For example, in Going Home (Bunting, 1998a), the main character, a Mexican boy, sleeps outside with his father while his mother and sister sleep in the car. Likewise, in So Far From the Sea (Bunting, 1998b), a young Japanese American boy refuses to hold his mother’s hand as a show of his toughness, and in both Spoken Memories (Aliki, 1998) and Ruby’s Wish (Bridges, 2002), the protagonist hears that girls do not need books to learn how to clean a house. This message does not appear in the recent Caldecott Medal-winning books in which both male and female characters display bravery and courage without an emphasis on masculinity. Such legitimating messages in the ELL books can be harmful to this population, particularly the female ELL students, because the student’s native culture might also stress traditional gender inequalities.


DISCUSSION


The portrayal of class in children’s books read aloud in ELL classrooms and the discrepancies between these books and the Caldecott Medal winners have troubling implications for students and their personal development. Adding to the strength of these inconsistencies is the context in which these books are presented to ELL students.10 This is particularly important to this study because the books used in the analysis are read aloud by the teacher, an authoritative figure, in a classroom. In his analysis of the impact of literature on children, Sipe (1999) argued that the context in which the book is read is the most important factor of influence on the child. Sipe also found in his observations that there are specific rules for classroom read-aloud time, including where the children sit (usually on the rug/floor), where the teacher sits (usually in a chair in front of the students), how they listen to the story, when they can talk (when the teacher has finished reading), and so on. Such rules surrounding read-aloud time place the teacher in a position of authority.


Furthering this claim, Peters (1967) argued that the teacher is both “an” authority, meaning an expert who possesses and transmits sanctioned forms of knowledge, and “in” authority, meaning in charge of a situation—in this case, the classroom. Likewise, Bernstein (1996) explained that there are two discourses occurring simultaneously in the classroom. The first is a discourse of skills of various kinds and their relations to each other (instructional discourse), and the second is a discourse of social order (regulative discourse). The duality of authority and the interaction of the two discourses give the teacher great influence over the students’ thinking about reading in terms of sounding out words (instructional discourse) and the messages in the reading (regulative discourse). Coupling the ELL books with the teacher’s authority strengthens the messages and the characterizations they present. Because this exploratory research relies on content analysis rather than in-classroom observation, it is important that future research examine the interaction between students and teachers during this read-aloud time in ELL classrooms. With in-classroom participant-observation and appropriate experimental designs, researchers could gauge the teachers’ presentations of the books and children’ reactions to these portrayals.


WHAT IS THE GOAL OF ELL EDUCATION?


Durkheim argued that public education should instill a collective conscience in children, but other authors claim that schooling may also be a method of maintaining the society’s economic and social hierarchy. In Schooling in Capitalist America, Bowles and Gintis (1976) argued that education not only is a façade of meritocracy but also reproduces economic relations. Though education is sometimes trumpeted as the “great equalizer,” Bowles and Gintis claimed instead that schools maintain and reproduce social inequalities by molding students to fulfill their role in the economy rather than educating them to climb higher. Bowles and Gintis explained,


Youth of different racial, sexual, ethnic, or economic characteristics directly perceive the economic positions and prerogatives of “their kind of people.” By adjusting their aspirations accordingly, they not only reproduce stratification on the level of personal consciousness, but bring their needs into (at least partial) harmony with the fragmented conditions of economic life. (p. 128)


In the ELL books, most of the immigrant characters hold blue-collar jobs, with no portrayal of immigrants with white-collar or professional jobs, and only two as small business owners.11 Using Bowles and Gintis, these messages inform the ELL students that the role of immigrants in the U.S. society and economy is as low-wage earners and blue-collar workers. On the other hand, the Caldecott books that are presented in non-ELL classrooms teach native English speakers that there are more opportunities for them and that they can realistically have higher aspirations.


The jobs and activities preached in these books often align with the morals presented, such as persistence, honesty, manners, and humility. For instance, in A Day’s Work (Bunting, 1994a), the story about the grandfather and grandson who are illegal day workers, Abuelo insists that he and his grandson replant the flowers they destroyed so that they can get more work from the landscaping business. There is no mention of standing up to the landscaper for more money or guidance in the planting because they realize that doing so would jeopardize future employment. Additionally, the antimaterialism attitude presented in Asian books such as The Bracelet (Uchida, 1993) may encourage children not to strive for material goods, whereas the materialism in the Hispanic books such as Going Home (Bunting, 1998a) speaks the opposite. These contradictions may suggest to the ELL students, through the images of the Hispanic immigrant, that they should be both docile and well-mannered workers and assimilate through American consumerism.


This question of competency-based education connects ELL instruction to Cott’s (1977) depiction of the early education of women. Cott noted that supporters of women’s education believed that women needed to be educated for civil life and instructed in reference to their duties. It was a popular contention during this time that education should teach women to “know their place,” which meant guarding and stewarding the family. In relation to the ELL classrooms, it is possible that the characters and portrayal of class in read-aloud books teach immigrant students what their “place” will be in the world and how they can be most useful—whether this means being a day worker or a grape harvester. The separatist element of this instruction lies in contrast to the Caldecott Medal-winning books often presented to non-ELL students, which do not display these same images of jobs or entirely the same morals.


Outside of the jobs and characters, there is also the concern about the role of the morals presented in these ELL books. Not only were the morals presented in ELL books different from those in the Caldecott books, but the morals emphasized in the ELL books were often focused in specific ethnic group. This is most evident in the case of the Hispanic books and the moral of honesty; four Hispanic books discussed honesty, which was not present in books from any other group. The idea that Hispanic characters “need to hear” about being honest but other groups do not might influence stereotypes about Hispanics as a dishonest group. Similarly, masculinity was presented far more in Asian books than for other groups, suggesting that Asian males need to be more masculine than other ethnic groups. Though it is difficult to distinguish here whether the motive of choosing books with certain morals is to “appeal to children” or “influence children” (and the two certainly do not need to be exclusive), it is essential to question what latent content these morals emit about (and to) different ethnic groups.


Following this, there is the question of whether these books are written and chosen for the ELL classes in hopes that the students can relate to the characters and stories. For example, Whipple (1963) found that multiethnic reader textbooks were more effective in teaching minority children to read than reader textbooks that included single-ethnic or “White” characters. Furthermore, Waite (1972, cited in Zimet, 1976) concluded that children find it easier to read when they identify with the characters, and Purves and Beach (1973) found that people claimed to like books more if they could relate to them. In this way, teachers and authors might hope that ELL students relate to the characters in the books through jobs, characters, and images so that they absorb more of the books and become excited about reading in English.


Whatever the reason that educators choose these books, it is possible that ELL books could encourage students by presenting characters who go beyond the “relatable” elements. In a study of attitudes toward minorities in relation to minority book characters, Fischer (in Zimet, 1976) found that children display more positive attitudes toward minority groups after reading a book in which a minority character is presented in a positive light. Fischer also found that children display less positive attitudes toward minority groups after reading a book in which a minority character is presented in a negative light. Presenting to ELL classrooms books that reach past the “relatable” limits may encourage these immigrant children to think more highly of themselves and to aspire further.


ASSIMILATION AND DIVERSITY


When ELL education became a requirement in 1964, the United States was entrenched in the Cold War, and the buzzwords of immigrant education were assimilation and acculturation. More recently, there has been a trend toward celebrating all cultures in public schools, noted by Chinese New Year celebrations, curriculum units on Kwanzaa, and the many children’s books on various cultures. This issue plays out in these ELL books as some characters struggle between assimilating into U.S. culture and emphasizing their “native” culture. One example is in American Too (Bartone, 1996), in which the main character, Rosina, dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for her role as the princess in the Italian immigrant neighborhood’s Feast of San Gennaro. In this way, she is combining something representing America with a traditionally Italian festival. A more difficult challenge arises for Unhei in The Name Jar (Choi, 2003), when she struggles over choosing an American name or keeping her given Korean name. Though she eventually chooses to keep her name, she needs to instruct her classmates on how to pronounce it.


The portrayals of diversity and assimilation also vary for the different generations in the books. All these books, like many children’s books, feature children as the main characters but also include adults such as parents and grandparents. One example is in Rivka’s First Thanksgiving (Rael, 2001), in which Rivka, a Jewish child, urges her parents and her rabbi to celebrate Thanksgiving. Similarly, in American Too (Bartone, 1996), described previously, it is Rosina, not her parents, who is upset by the Italian feast and wishes to incorporate something American into this homeland tradition. Like Rivka and Rosina, the character Emi from The Bracelet (Uchida, 1993) is troubled when her family is labeled “bad guys” and sent to the internment camp because she feels “American too.”


These stories illustrate that although celebrating diversity and ethnicity has become important to ELL education and literature, there is still a strand of assimilation running through these messages. This highlights the collective conscience and acculturates these ELL children to American morals and society. This emphasis leads to the question of whether presenting the morals of the American Dream and being “American too” contradicts the jobs and indicators that the books suggest to these ELL students. In one manner, these books teach the children that they are “American too” and should respect morals of the American Dream, such as persistence and hard work to reach success. At the same time, they show immigrants in lower level jobs and display sexist messages, suggesting that this is what the children can aspire toward rather than white-collar work of corporate America.


Another interesting aspect of diversity is the lack of interaction between different ethnicities in the ELL books. Because many of the books are stories of families, few examples speak of interaction between different ethnic groups. Of the five books that do this, four involve East Asian characters interacting with White (non–recent immigrant) characters, and the fifth is a Western European immigrant interacting with a White (non–recent immigrant) character. In Heroes (Mochizuki, 1995), Angel Child, Dragon Child (Surat, 1983), and The Name Jar (Choi, 2003), East Asian immigrant children have difficulties with White children that are reconciled when the children learn about the protagonist’s culture. The fourth book with such interaction is The Bracelet (Uchida, 1993), in which the Japanese American girl connects to her White best friend because they have the same sweater and lunch box. Though the character later realizes that her friendship is more than these things, as described previously, the book suggests that the connection was first based on material objects rather than a similarity in personality or culture. The fifth book, The Brand New Kid (Couric, 2000), places the most emphasis on kindness and friendship as the native White American character befriends the struggling immigrant character by inviting him to play soccer after school.


This lack of interaction between different ethnicities may suggest to ELL students that there is not, and should not be, interaction with other ethnic groups. Teaching students to interact only with their own ethnic group can be detrimental to their future networking, job, and social opportunities. Lower level blue-collar jobs have traditionally been passed down through generations, from guilds of the Middle Ages to current building trades unions, whereas upper-level white-collar jobs are less reliant on these modes. Portraying immigrant characters as interacting only with their own ethnic groups and facing some difficult interactions with White characters may suggest to an ELL student that it is easier to interact only with their own ethnicity, thus limiting their job and career options. In addition to these books, a nonfiction historical book recommended for ELL classrooms, Coming to America: The Story of Immigration, declares that immigrants who had come from the same country usually stayed together and suggests that immigrants find friends from their native country (Maestro, 1996). Though there may be some historical evidence to support this, it is important to rethink what ideas such statements are sending to ELL children and to realize that non-ELL students are not receiving the same messages.


This message is different from the Caldecott Medal-winning books in which the characters find commonalities between themselves and other ethnicities. An example is in Smoky Night (Bunting, 1994b), in which an African American boy and a Korean female immigrant connect when both lose their cats during the Los Angeles 1992 riots and later find the animals safely hiding together. In addition, in Mirette on the High Wire (McCully, 1992), the young female protagonist, Mirette, often interacts with travelers from different cultures who stay at her mother’s hotel. Such contact is encouraged between the characters in the Caldecott books in a manner that is not present in the ELL classroom books, planting this contact in the children exposed to the Caldecott books.


CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS


Applying Bourdieu’s theory to the content on social class in these ELL books reiterates the symbolic violence that Anyon noted in her 1979 study. That is, by emphasizing certain characteristics in the books read aloud to ELL students, teachers affect the ways that students interpret social reality and the reality of their personal aspirations. Harker (1990) explained that schools, through the form of read-aloud books in this particular case, have the ability to convince lower classes that they “owe their social fate . . . to their individual nature and lack of gifts” (p. 94). This research suggests that the portrayals of immigrants of lower occupational and cultural status present in these books are indicative of such symbolic violence.


In the recent activity responding to proposed immigration laws, there has been little mention of the public education immigrant children receive and whether this education is comparable to the education of those students for whom English is a first language. The current discussion centers primarily on No Child Left Behind testing without looking at the messages that classroom texts send to these students before they even begin to tackle these exams.12


Evidence from this research suggests, as Bourdieu stated, that the reproduction of inequality lies hidden in the practices of the education system. It seems, therefore, that such inequality and status of immigrants will likely continue as teachers continue to choose such books not out of malice but because they hope that children will connect with these books and that the books will foster a desire in students to read and study English. It is unfortunate that these books are so distinct from the Caldecott Medal-winning books presented to native English speakers and that they carry certain perceptions of what goals, careers, and lifestyles these ELL students can achieve.


The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin estimates that 5,000 new books are published for children and young adults each year, so it also important to question whether these recommended books are representative of the broader selection of ELL books. However, because several of these books also appear on other recommended book lists (!Colorin Colorado!, Barahona Center, Children and Young Adult Literature Resources), it seems that teachers searching for ELL materials will come across endorsements for these titles. This implies that even if other class-aware ELL books do indeed exist, the consistent recommendations of the books included in this study will increase the chance of their usage in ELL classrooms.


If these books remain recommended ELL classroom read-alouds, there should be alternatives to help bridge the gap of cultural capital. One way to do this is to teach students about role models and immigrants of many ethnicities who have succeeded in the United States. This might take the form of an “immigrant of the week” component in which students learn about a person, such as Madeline Albright or Cesar Chavez, and study his or her accomplishments. Another suggestion is to make better use of foreign-published books that are translated into English. Stories of children written and published abroad might have different messages about class and capital while still having a relatable element toward which teachers and students are drawn. This would allow the teachers to show students possibilities for characters and people of all cultures.


Finally, Bernstein (1996) suggested that pedagogic communication in schools can only be democratic and socially just if parents and students feel that they have a vested interest in the school and confidence that these arrangements will actualize and enhance this investment. Many parents with children in ELL classes or other citizens concerned with equality and immigrant rights may be unaware of materials presented to ELL students. At the very least, this study suggests that parents should be informed of the messages their children receive in the classroom so that they may be mitigated at home, if not changed in the education system itself. If Bourdieu is correct that the education system plays a key role in structural reproduction, regulation of classroom materials may be one way to impact these messages.


Notes

1 Bourdieu (1977) defined symbolic violence as “The power to impose . . . instruments of knowledge and (sic) expression of social reality…which are arbitrary (but unrecognized as such)” (p. 115).


2 Identification of Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of National Origin (1964). This clarifies OCR policy under Title VI on the responsibility of school districts to provide equal educational opportunity to language minority students.


The Office for Civil Rights’ Title VI Language Minority Compliance Procedures (1985). This outlines the procedures that the OCR follows in applying the May 1970 memorandum and the Lau legal standard on a case-by-case basis.


Policy Update on Schools’ Obligations Toward National Origin Minority Students with Limited-English Proficiency (LEP) (1991). This update is to be read in conjunction with the previous with a focus on exit/entrance strategies and staffing procedures.


3 By law, ELL curriculum must follow three rules: (1) it is based on a sound educational theory; (2) it is adequately supported so that the program has a realistic chance of success; and (3) it is periodically evaluated and revised if necessary. In addition, a stated goal of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers.


4 According to the Current Population Survey in 2000, the median income for full-time year-round workers was $37,528 for the native male population, compared with $27,239 for the foreign-born male population, and $26,698 for the native female population, compared with $22,139 for the foreign-born female population. The poverty rate of the native population was 11.2%, compared with 16.8% for the foreign-born population. The poverty rate of naturalized citizens was 9.1%, compared with 21.3% for noncitizens.


5 The book lists were provided by the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.


6 The study used all books in each ethnic group that were suggested for ages 4–10. Chapter books were not selected. Within this group, books of different language levels did not present any significant differences in terms of indicators or morals presented. Complete book lists appear in Appendixes A and B.


7 The Caldecott Medal is presented annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This measure was chosen because of its use in previous studies and its focus on picture books comparable to the level of English language learner read-aloud texts analyzed in this article.


8 Additionally, outside readers also suggested that the research should combine the Jewish category and the Eastern European category. However, the early findings of the study demonstrated that this combination was a false assumption, so the analysis treated them as separate cases. Additionally, few books in the sample had Arab and African characters. A brief analysis of these selections mimics the patterns of the Hispanic books.


9 Although this research focuses primarily on the various ethnicities of these characters, it is also important to acknowledge the presence of race in this study. Racial minorities, including Hispanics, are portrayed as having less cultural and economic capital, and “Whiter” ethnicities, including Western European and Jewish characters, are more often depicted as middle class. Although Asian characters also share middle-class traits, sociologists (Gans, 2005) have identified this group as a race that is undergoing “whitening.”


10 To address the question of who writes children’s books, see Lukenbill (1976).


11 Neither the ELL nor the Caldecott Medal books emphasize the role of technical or computer-related jobs, though the Caldecott books make some mention of scientific research and tools.


12 See Abella, Urrutia, and Shneyderman (2005) and Wright (2005).



References


Abella, R., Urrutia, J., & Shneyderman, A. (2005). An examination of the validity of English-language achievement test scores in an English language learner population. Bilingual Research Journal, 29, 127–134.


Aliki. (1998). Painted words/Spoken memories: Marianthe’s story. New York: Greenwillow Books.


Alridge, D. P. (2006). The limits of master narratives in history textbooks: An analysis of representations of Martin Luther King, Jr. Teachers College Record, 108, 662–686.


Anyon, J. (1979). Ideology and United States history textbooks. Harvard Educational Review, 49, 361–386.


Aydin, K. (2006). Social stratification and consumption patterns in Turkey. Social Indicators Research, 75, 463–501.


Bartone, E. (1996). American too. New York: Lorthrop, Lee & Shepard Books.


Bernstein, B. (1996). Pedagogy, symbolic control, and identity. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield.


Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.


Bourdieu, P. (2000). The aesthetic sense as the sense of distinction. In J. B. Schor & D. B. Holt (Eds.), The consumer society reader (pp. 205–211). New York: New Press.


Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (1976). Schooling in capitalist America. New York: Basic Books.


Bridges, S. Y. (2002). Ruby’s wish. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.


Bunting, E. (1994a). A day’s work. New York: Clarion Books.


Bunting, E. (1994b). Smoky night. New York: Harcourt.


Bunting, E. (1998a). Going home. New York: Harper Trophy.


Bunting, E. (1998b). So far from the sea. New York: Clarion Books.


Choi, Y. (2003). The name jar. New York: Dragonfly Books.


Cohn, D. (2005). Si, se puede! Yes we can! The janitor strike in L.A. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.


Cott, N. F. (1977). The bonds of womanhood: Women’s sphere in New England, 1780–1835. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Couric, K. (2000). The brand new kid. New York: Doubleday, 2000.


Durkheim, E. (1925). Moral education: A study in the theory and application of the sociology of education. New York: Free Press.


Massachusetts Department of Education. (2006). English learner education in public schools. Retrieved September 2, 2007, from http://www.doe.mass.edu/ell/laws.html


Gans, H. (2005). Race as class. Contexts, 4, 17–21.


Gooden, A. M., & Gooden, M. A. (2001). Gender representation in notable children’s picture books: 1995–1999. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 45, 89–101.


Harker, R. (1990). Bourdieu: Education and reproduction. In R. Harker, C. Mahar, & C. Wilkes (Eds.), An introduction to the work of Pierre Bourdieu (pp. 86–108). New York: St. Martin’s Press.


Holt, D. (2000). Does cultural capital structure consumption? In J. B. Schor & D. B. Holt (Eds.), The consumer society reader (pp. 212–252). New York: New Press.


Kortenhaus, C. M., & Demarest, J. (1993). Gender role stereotyping in children’s literature: An update. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 28, 3–4.


La Dow, S. (1976). A content-analysis of selected picture books examining the portrayal of sex-roles and representation of males and females. East Lansing, MI: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning.


Lukenbill, W. B. (1976). Who writes children’s books? Journal of Communication, 26, 97–100.


Maestro, B. (1996). Coming to America: The story of immigration. New York: Scholastic Books.


McCully, E. A. (1992). Mirette on the high wire. New York: Putnam.


Mochizuki, K. (1995). Heroes. New York: Lee & Low Books.


Neuman, L. W. (2003). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston: Pearson Education.


Nisbet, R. A. (1974). The sociology of Emile Durkheim. London: Oxford University Press.


Ochman, J. M. (1996). The effects of non-gender-role stereotyped, same-sex role models in storybooks on the self-esteem of children in grade three. Sex Roles, 35, 711–735.


Peters, R. S. (1967). Ethics and education. Chicago: Scott, Foreman & Company.


Purves, A., & Beach, R. (1973). Literature and the reader: Research in response to literature, reading interests, and the teaching of literature. Urbana, IL: NCTE.


Rael, E. O. (2001). Rivka’s first Thanksgiving. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.


Sipe, L. (1999). Children’s response to literature: Author, text, reader, context. Theory Into Practice, 38, 120–129.


Staneck, M. (1989) I speak English for my mom. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.


Surat, M. M. (1983). Angel child, dragon child. Milwaukee, WI: Raintree.


Swartz, D. (1997). Culture and power: The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Tarbescu, E. (1998). Annushka’s voyage. New York: Clarion Books.


Taylor, F. (2003). Content analysis and gender stereotypes in children’s books. Teaching Sociology, 31, 300–311.


Uchida, Y. (1993). The bracelet. New York: Philomel.


Weitzman, L., Eifler, D., Hokada, E., & Ross, C. (1972). Sex-role socialization in picture books for preschool children. American Journal of Sociology, 77, 1125–1150.


Whipple, G. (1963). Appraisal of the city schools reading program. Detroit, MI: The Public Schools.


Wright, W. E. (2005). English language learners left behind in Arizona: The nullification of accommodations in the intersection of federal and state policies. Bilingual Research Journal, 29, 1–30.


Yorinks, A. (1986). Hey Al. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.


Zimet, S. G. (1976). Print and prejudice. London: Hodder and Stoughton.


APPENDIX A

CHILDREN’S BOOKS—ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER READ ALOUD BOOKS*


Aliki. (1998). Painted words/Spoken memories: Marianthe’s story. New York: Greenwillow Books.


Aylesworth, J. (1992). The folks in the valley: A Pennsylvania Dutch ABC. New York: Harper Collins.


Bartone, E. (1996). American too. New York: Lorthrop, Lee & Shepard Books.


Bridges, S. Y. (2002). Ruby’s wish. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.


Bunting, E. (1994). A day’s work. New York: Clarion Books.


Bunting, E. (1998). Going Home. New York: Harper Trophy.


Bunting, E. (1998). How many days to America? A Thanksgiving story. New York: Clarion Books.


Bunting, E. (1998). So far from the sea. New York: Clarion Books.


Bunting, E. (1999). A picnic in October. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.


Bunting, E. (2001). Jin Woo. New York: Clarion Books.


Cech, J. (1991). My grandmother’s journey. New York: Bradbury Press.


Chin, C. (1993). China’s bravest girl. Emeryville, CA: Children’s Book Press.


Choi, Y. (2003). The name jar. New York: Dragonfly Books.


Cohen, B. (1998). Molly’s pilgrim. New York: Lorthrop, Lee, & Shepard-Morrow.


Cohn, D. (2005). Si, se puede! Yes we can! The janitor strike in L.A. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.


Couric, K. (2000). The brand new kid. New York: Doubleday.


Dorros, A. (1995). Isla. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.


Garland, S. (1993). The lotus seed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.


Hurst, M. M. (2001). Grannie and Jumbie: A Caribbean tale. New York: Laura Geringer Books.


Kulkin, S. (1992). How my family lives in America. New York: Bradbury Press.


Kurtz, J. (2000). Faraway home. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.


Lakin, P. (2002). Don’t forget. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.


Leighton, M. R. (1992). An Ellis Island Christmas. New York: Viking.


Levine, E. (1989).  I hate English! New York: Scholastic.


Levinson, R. (1995). Watch the stars come out. New York: Puffin Books.


Levitin, S. (1998). A piece of home. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.


Michelson, R. (2002). Too young for Yiddish. Watertown, MA: Charlesburg.


Mochizuki, K. (1993). Baseball saved us. New York: Lee & Low.


Mochizuki, K. (1995). Heroes. New York: Lee & Low Books.


Morales, Y. (2005). Just a minute. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.


Moroney, L. (1990). Elinda who danced in the sky: An Estonian folktale. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.


Oberman, S. (1994). The always prayer shawl. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press.


Pak, S. (1999). Dear Juno. New York: Viking Books.


Rael, E. O. (1996). What Zeesie saw on Delancey Street. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.


Rael, E. O. (1997). When Zaydeh danced on Eldrige Street. New York: Simon and Schuster

Books for Young Readers.


Rael, E. O. (2001). Rivka’s first Thanksgiving. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.


Rattigan, J. K. (1993). Dumpling soup. Boston: Little, Brown.


Roth, S. L. (2001). Happy birthday Mr. Kang. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


San Souci, R. D. (2002). Cendrillion: A Caribbean Cinderella. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.


Say, A. (1993). Grandfather’s journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.


Schreck, K. H. (2001). Lucy’s family tree. Gardiner, ME: Tilbury House Publishers.


Snyder, D. (1988). The boy of the three-year nap. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


Staneck, M. (1989). I speak English for my mom. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.


Surat, M. M. (1983). Angel child, dragon child. Milwaukee, WI: Raintree.


Tarbescu, E. (1998). Annushka’s voyage. New York: Clarion Books.


Uchida, Y. (1993). The bracelet. New York: Philomel.


Van Lann, N. (1995). Mama rocks, papa sings. New York City: Apple Soup Book.


Wells, R. (1998). Yoko. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.


Wolstein, D. (1996). White wave: A Chinese tale. New York: Gulliver Books.


Woodruff, E. (1999). The memory coat. New York: Scholastic Books.


Woodson, J. (2004). Coming on home soon. New York: Putnam Juvenile.

________________________________________________________________________

*Lists were provided by the Boston College Lynch School of Education


APPENDIX B


CHILDREN’S BOOKS—CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER BOOKS


Ackerman, K. (1988). Song and dance man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Bunting, E. (1994). Smoky night. New York: Harcourt.


Gerstein, M. (2003). The man who walked between the towers. New York: Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press.


Henkes, K. (2004). Kitten’s first full moon. New York: Greenwillow Books.


Juster, N. (2005). The hello, goodbye window. New York: Michael di Capua Books/Hyperion Books for Children.


Macaulay, D. (1990). Black and white. Boston: Houghton.


Martin, J. B. (1998). Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton.


McCully, E. A. (1992). Mirette on the high wire. New York: Putnam.


Rathmann, P. (1995). Officer Buckle and Gloria. New York: Putnam.


Rohmann, E. (2002). My friend rabbit. New York: Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press.


Say, A. (1990). El Chino. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


St. George, J. (2000). So you want to be president? New York: Philomel.


Taback, S. (1999). Joseph had a little overcoat. New York: Viking.


Wiesner, D. (1991). Tuesday. New York: Clarion Books.


Wiesner, D. (2001). The three pigs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


Wisniewski, D. (1996). Golem. New York: Clarion Books.


Yolen, J. (1987). Owl moon. Liber Press.


Yorinks, A. (1986). Hey Al. New York: Farras, Strauss & Giroux.


Young, E. (1989). Lon Po Po: A red-riding hood story from China. New York: Philomel.


Zelinsky, P. O. (1997). Rapunzel. New York: Dutton.

________________________________________________________________________

*Lists were provided by the Boston College Lynch School of Education





Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 11, 2009, p. 2560-2588
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15441, Date Accessed: 1/28/2022 10:47:53 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
 
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
 
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Joelle Sano
    Boston College
    E-mail Author
    JOELLE SANO is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and an adjunct professor in the Sociology Department at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Her current research areas include sociology of education, social stratification, and labor movements. Her forthcoming dissertation focuses on lay teachersí unions in Catholic secondary schools.
 
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue

Submit
EMAIL

Twitter

RSS