University of New Hampshire
English and Justice Studies
Mentor: Dr. Laura Smith, Department of English
Variations in High School Reading Lists and Student Reading Compliance
Studies have found that the reading lists of today remain nearly unchanged from those of thirty years ago, which means they have not adapted to fit the demographics and interests of current students. Less than 7% of books on the reading lists created, then, were written by authors of color, and less than 16% were written by women (Applebee, 1992). Since then, the reading lists have remained curiously stagnant. This lack of diversity denies other students the ability to see their stories reflected in the books they’re required to read which can lead to a lack of interest in the literature, itself (Greenbaum, 1992; Hinton & Dickinson, 2005). The purpose of this study is to investigate current reading lists while examining their variation and diversity to discover how these factors relate to reading compliance amongst students in the classroom. This study will focus on teachers’ perceptions of the level of reading compliance in their classrooms associated to these reading. Through surveys and interviews, this study hopes to uncover the composition, diversity, and perceived engagement of modern-day reading lists. Creating a better understanding of what makes a successful reading list allows for their improvement so that they can better serve and benefit the students of today.
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