Date of Defense



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Bush

Second Advisor

Dr. Allen Webb

Third Advisor

Dr. Gwen Tarbox


I was one of the lucky ones. As a student, I loved to read anything, and I counted on my English teachers to help me discover the classics. In high school, I read Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Emerson, and Thoreau among others. I also devoured portions of Don Quixote, The Iliad, and Dante's Inferno. I learned to love the classics, convinced that only they were worthy of literary merit in classes such as English literature, American literature, and AP English. Then I began college. I found myself taking courses in Multicultural Literature for Adolescents, Latino Writing and Culture, Women in Literature, and Women in Developing Countries. I found that I also enjoyed reading these books outside the traditional canon. They were often easier to understand and enjoyable to read in comparison to the tedious writings of Chaucer or Dickens. I learned to recognize and respect perspectives other than that of white, European males. Although I still adore the timeless plays of Shakespeare, I now recognize the merit of reading works by Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, Walter Dean Myers, Toni Morrison, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Esmeralda Santiago, and Buchi Emecheta. Yet the question remains as I anticipate my own teaching certification; what literature should I teach students during the very limited time I spend with them? Do I attempt to give them the same excellent background in the classics that I acquired as a high school student? Or should I teach some of my recently discovered favorites?

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only