The relationship of a multicultural/multiethnic literature approach to student self-efficacy towards reading and independent reading time

Date of Completion

January 2001


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Elementary|Education, Reading|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




This study investigated how teacher awareness and use of multicultural/multiethnic literature related to ethnically and culturally diverse students' self-efficacy towards reading as well as their time engaged in independent reading. The setting was one Connecticut school district in which the percentage of minority students was 60%. This study was conducted in third grade classrooms and was predicated on identifying students immersed in very specific classroom environments. Based on the results of qualitative procedures, eight teachers were selected: Four who were most aware of multicultural/multiethnic literature and exhibited intentional classroom use of such literature and four that lacked knowledge and use of such literature. ^ With respect to student self-efficacy towards reading, a Children's Self-Efficacy Towards Reading Survey (CSTRS), based on Bandura's self-efficacy model (1986), was designed and administered to 90 culturally/ethnically diverse students. Analyses included two processes: (a) independent t-tests determined that there were not statistically significant differences between groups based on scores on three of the factors on the CSTRS and effect sizes were small, and (b) qualitative analyses of research artifacts (i.e., teacher questionnaires, teacher interview responses and observation notes) were performed and revealed recurring themes that had a significant impact on the study. A dominant theme was the extent to which teachers were concerned with preparing their students for the Connecticut Mastery Test. ^ With respect to students' independent reading time, one factor of the CSTRS was designed to assess students' overall reading behaviors including time engaged in independent reading. In addition, reading logs, in which students self-reported the amount of time they spent reading independently, were kept for four weeks. Independent t-tests of CSTRS and log times determined there were not statistically significant differences between groups on both the fourth factor of the CSTRS and self-reported time and both effect sizes were small. Qualitative analyses, including the examination of research artifacts (i.e., reading journals), revealed recurring themes that had a significant impact on the study. A dominant theme involved how teachers' engagement and expectations affect students' reading behaviors. ^