An Analysis of Authors, Content, and Genres of Hispanic-Related Selections in Adopted 8th Grade Literature Anthologies in Texas 2001–2011



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Background: Eighth-grade Hispanic students in Texas, the state’s largest ethnic group, continue to score lower on state and national assessments. If Texas is to improve the reading achievement of Hispanic students, an analysis of literature resources needs to be conducted. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze the nine grade 8 literature anthologies (adopted in Texas in 2001 and 2011) for cultural representativeness. Research Question: What are the trends in eighth-grade literature anthologies regarding the inclusion and treatment of Hispanic-authored/themed selections? To answer this question, analysis of Hispanic texts in the following areas was necessary: a. percentage of authors/texts; b. commonly anthologized authors/texts; c. literature genres; d. placement/arrangement; e. editing. Methods: The data were analyzed using content analysis via coding and open coding methods. Results: The findings revealed a 1.34 percent increase in Hispanic authorship and 1.44 percent increase in Hispanic selection from 2001 to 2011. Hispanic author ethnicities represented show that 65.31 percent were Mexican, 17.35 percent Puerto Rican, and 11.22 percent South American, with remaining percentages from other Hispanic groups. Gary Soto was the most commonly anthologized Hispanic author, appearing 11 times, followed by five other Hispanic authors, appearing 5–9 times. Only seven authors in the anthologies were recipients of award-winning Hispanic literature. The most common genres of Hispanic selections were poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Hispanic selections were placed in themed sections and not in separate units apart from other texts. There was very little editing by adaptation, abridgement, or expurgation. Conclusion: Despite a slight increase since 2001, the disproportionate representation of race is a persistent problem. Previous studies found that the canon changes very little with each iteration. There is little variation of Hispanic selections, authors, genres, and types. More diverse selections could create anthologies that support a culturally relevant and responsive literacy program for Hispanic students.



Culturally responsive instruction, Culturally relevant literacy, Hispanics, Middle schools, Reading, Multicultural, Literacy, Anthologies