How Diverse Is Your Syllabus?

During an impromptu pre-department meeting chat with literacy colleagues, we began to think about examining our syllabi for diversity of required and recommended texts. We noted that often people examine reading lists for K-12 students in terms of diversity, such as children’s literature, adolescent literature, and the secondary canon.

Below are the texts listed on my course syllabi for all courses I currently teach on a regular basis. I have put white male authors in red text for a quick glance at diversity.

Assigned and Recommended Texts in Taught Courses

[In many courses, students choose among these texts, and in some courses, students have choice outside this list. These are texts offered on course syllabi as limited choice but required in courses.]

White male author

Why We Teach Now, Sonia Nieto

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, Robin DiAngelo

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too, Chris Emdin

The Poverty and Education Reader edited by Paul C. Gorski and Julie Landsman

Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children, Sarah Carr

Police in the Hallways: Discipline in an Urban High School, Kathleen Nolan

Scarcity, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance, P.L. Thomas

Me-Search and Re-Search: A Guide for Writing Scholarly Personal Narrative ManuscriptsRobert Nash and  DeMethra LaSha Bradley

Reading Educational Research: How to Avoid Getting Statistically Snookered, Gerald Bracey

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 12th Edition, Joseph M. Williams and Joseph Bizup

The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing, John Warner

James Baldwin: The Last Interview: And other Conversations

Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin

Nobody Knows My Name, James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

No Name in the Street, James Baldwin

I Am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin and Raoul Peck

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education, Mychal Denzel Smith

A House of My Own, Sandra Cisneros

Known and Strange Things: Essays, Teju Cole

The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson

The End of Imagination, Arundhati Roy

Sex Object, Jessica Valenti

We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Men Explain Things To Me, Rebecca Solnit

Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America’s Classrooms, Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde

Classrooms that Work: They Can All Read and Write, Cunningham and Allington

Girls, Social Class and Literacy: What Teachers Can Do to Make a Difference, Stephanie Jones

Writing and Teaching to Change the World: Connecting with Our Most Vulnerable Students, Stephanie Jones

When Kids Can’t Read—What Teachers Can Do, Kylene Beers

Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, Michael Smith and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm

Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in U.S. Classrooms, Sonia Nieto

Teaching English by design, Peter Smagorinsky

Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School ClassroomsArthur N. Applebee and Judith A. Langer

Critical Foundations in Young Adult Literature: Challenging Genres, Antero Garcia

Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-truth America, Chris Goering and P.L. Thomas, eds.

Comic Connections: Reflecting on Women in Popular Culture, Susan Eckard, ed.

Course Syllabi

EDU 111: Perspectives on American Education

EDU 115 (MAYX): The Reel World: The Depiction of Schools on Film

EDU 250/ EDRD 750: Scholarly Reading and Writing in Education

FYW 1259: Reconsidering James Baldwin in the Era of #BLACKLIVESMATTER

EDU 452: Teaching English in Grades 7-12

EDU 451: Literature for Young Adults; EDRD 748: Adolescent Literature Survey

EDU 350: Curriculum and Methods of Teaching in Grades 7-12