Children’s literature is ubiquitous in Australian classrooms with picture books playing a particularly important role in early childhood classrooms. Teachers use children’s literature to teach early literacy concepts including vocabulary and to help children learn about the world and their identity. Historically, the majority of children’s literature has featured White characters and perspectives, excluding many children from seeing themselves and their lives reflected in books. The aim of this study was to explore how an assessment task that asked preservice teachers (PSTs) to select an underrepresented aspect of children’s literature, locate books on that topic, and reflect upon their own reading experiences as a child, could change their attitudes towards future classroom practice. Reflections from 40 PSTs revealed that many PSTs had not previously considered the experiences of children whose lives were not mirrored in books, the need for authentic texts written by people who identified as members of diverse groups, or the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Recommendations for teacher education programs in increasingly multicultural Australia are discussed.
Was this research funded?
No, research was not funded
Simoncini, Kym M.; Smith, Hilary; Cain-Gray, Lara; and Sebalj, Darlene
"Books That Tell My Story: Transforming the Attitudes of Australian Preservice Teachers Towards Children’s Diverse and Multicultural Literature.,"
Australian Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 47
, Article 6.
Available at: https://ro.ecu.edu.au/ajte/vol47/iss9/6