Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Multicultural Literature; Young Adult Literature; Teacher Education; English Education; Race; Ethnicity; Multicultural Education; Dilemma Management; Critical Whiteness Studies; Critical Race Theory

Major Advisor

Wendy J. Glenn

Associate Advisor

Katharine Capshaw

Associate Advisor

Robin Grenier

Field of Study

Curriculum and Instruction


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Researchers have documented a range of dilemmas associated with multicultural and young adult literature. This study used an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis approach to explore the lived experiences of nine White, middle-class teacher participants as they negotiated their perceived dilemmas in planning for and teaching multicultural young adult literature to students in culturally diverse, urban school contexts. Critical Whiteness Studies and Dilemma Management were used as conceptual framework for the study, and data sources included three interviews of each teacher participant occurring before, during, and after the instruction of the unit that included the multicultural young adult text; participant artifacts; and a researcher journal. This study is grounded in the belief that how these teacher participants interpreted and negotiated the dilemmas they associated with multicultural young adult literature was valuable to understand because their perceptions could have shaped both their selection and instruction of such texts. Purposive culturally response teaching fosters students’ sense of self, and a strong self-concept has been linked to high academic achievement. Findings revealed that participants experienced dilemmas pertaining to their identity and knowledge, dilemmas specific to students, dilemmas related to book content, and dilemmas connected to curriculum and resources. To manage these dilemmas, they participated in passive approaches, authoritative approaches, conferences with others, and pedagogical approaches. Discussion includes the ways in which the teaching context did (not) matter, an interrogation of power dynamics, and implications for theory, practice, and research.