Scientia 2006: Mary Jo G. Biazzo

Mary Jo G. Biazzo is receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with minors in Science and Nutrition/Dietetics. She is a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, the National Honor Society for Catholic Colleges and Universities; Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education; and Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society. She decided to pursue a Citation in Honors as a way to push herself academically, and prove to herself that she is determined, and prepared to succeed in any challenges she decides to take on. Mary Jo would like to thank her advisor, Ms. Ellen Burkhouse, for her time, encouragement, support, and valuable thoughts throughout the process; her reader, Professor Lloyd Hildebrand, for his support, and for reviving her love of children’s literature; Ms. Christina Elvidge for her encouragement and guidance; and her parents, and boyfriend Stephan, for their unconditional love and support.

The Role of Multicultural Children’s Literature in the Elementary Classroom

Director: Dr. Barbara Burkhouse
Reader: Mr. Lloyd Hildebrand


Multicultural children’s literature is often defined as literature that recognizes and accepts human differences and similarities related to gender, race, culture, disability, and class. The definition of multicultural children’s literature that best fits this paper is: literature for children that recognizes and accepts human differences and similarities related to different cultures, races, and geographical regions. It is literature that emphasizes respect for the different cultures in society. In today’s diverse American society, multicultural children’s literature is a useful way to introduce children to cultures that may be unfamiliar to them, as well as the cultures of their own backgrounds.

Multicultural children’s literature is a valuable tool for educators to incorporate into the curriculum. The many benefits of using this tool will be explored. This type of children’s literature has not always encompassed a wealth of material as it does today. The history of multicultural children’s literature, as well as reasons for lack of representation of certain cultures, will be touched upon. Educators planning on incorporating multicultural children’s literature into their curriculum need to be sure that they choose appropriate and sound literature of this type. What are the criteria educators need to look for when exploring this type of literature? The critical measures involved in choosing multicultural children’s literature will be examined.

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