Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership



Committee Chair

J. Helen Perkins

Committee Member

Sally Blake

Committee Member

Laurie MacGillivray

Committee Member

Jerrie Scott


This content analysis study examined 99 basal reading narratives from three publishers: Harcourt, SRA-McGraw Hill and Scott Foresman. The stories were classified according to the ethnicity of major characters. The observed frequencies were compared to the expected frequencies to indicate over representation, adequate representation or under representation based on the ethnic breakdown of the student population on the state of Tennessee and national levels. The stories identified "African American" (n = 18) were investigated further to determine if the elements of quality African American literature (Hefflin & Barksdale-Ladd. 2001) were present. Cohen's Kappa indicated strong agreement between the two raters (k = .88).The study indicates African American students observed occurrences were less than the expected occurrences based on the student population on the state level in both the Harcourt and Scott Foresman text; SRA-McGraw Hill observed occurrences were equal to expected occurrences on the state level. On the national level, Harcourt observed occurrences were less than the expected occurrences based on student population and Scott Foresman were greater than the expected occurrences on the national level. The total sample of stories identified as African American exhibited the qualities of African American children's literature.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.