Discover an exceptional, free tool that helps teachers of all experience and grade levels recognize and select books that will truly open doors for all students. Reading Diversity from Teaching Tolerance helps educators thoughtfully evaluate four considerations in selecting diverse texts. This model promotes the four distinct but interconnected dimensions of text selection: Complexity, Diversity and Representation, Critical Literacy and Reader and Task. This session is facilitated by Angela Hartman, Librarian for Secondary Campuses at Hutto ISD and member of the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board. Angela has found Reading Diversity to be invaluable when selecting books for school libraries and for helping teachers create diverse classroom libraries.
Traditionally, tools that aid text selection have focused on quantitative and qualitative measures like complexity, word and sentence length, cohesion, language features and knowledge demands. But these tools do not include diversity and representation, critical literacy, or reader and task as part of the selection criteria. Reading Diversity is different. This model promotes a multi-dimensional approach to text selection that prioritizes critical literacy, cultural responsiveness, and complexity.
CONSIDERATION I - COMPLEXITY
This section quantitatively and qualitatively evaluates the inherent elements of a text. Quantitative factors refer to word length or frequency, sentence length, and text cohesion; these dimensions are measured by computer software. Qualitative factors are measured by an attentive reader, reflect a teacher’s professional judgment, and refer to levels of meaning, purpose, structure, language features (such as conventionality and clarity) and knowledge demands.
CONSIDERATION II - DIVERSITY AND REPRESENTATION
This section considers the ways in which the author and characters in a text contribute to the inclusion of diverse voices in the curriculum. Similar to text complexity, diversity and representation are inherent elements of a text.
CONSIDERATION III - CRITICAL LITERACY
Critical literacy teaches readers to actively and reflectively engage with texts. Readers use critical literacy skills to interpret messages and challenge the power relationships found within those messages. They are encouraged to question social norms and institutions like family, poverty, education, equity, and equality. This section of the tool asks users to determine if a text is a good candidate for critical literacy instruction.
CONSIDERATION IV - READER AND TASK CONSIDERATIONS
Culturally responsive text selection includes finding texts that both reflect your students’ identities, experiences, and motivations (mirrors) and provide insight into the identities, experiences, and motivations of others (windows). This section asks users to consider whether texts act as windows or mirrors and to explicitly name how the text will help meet established learning goals. Finally, educators decide whether or not to select the text and have a chance to reflect on their rationale.
ALA Unit/Subunit: AASL
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.