Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

John Saillant

Second Advisor

Scott Slawinski

Third Advisor

Scott Friesner


This thesis sought to examine how biracial identity is portrayed in the literature read by students in secondary education. Unfortunately, the findings indicated that biracialism is not being adequately portrayed in this literature. Students rarely encounter biracial characters, when they do these characters are usually peripheral, and sometimes the biracialism of these characters is presented as an obstacle to be overcome. Furthermore, teachers (at least in this researcher’s local area) seem to be extremely apathetic towards even discussing this issue. The impact which all of this can have on secondary students with a biracial background is discussed. However, there are also indications that change is possible, and it is likely that there may very well be more frequent and well-rounded portrayals of biracial individuals present in the secondary school literature of the near future. This thesis examines background information regarding the American biracial experience, practices which inform school curriculum decisions, the current state of most secondary schools’ curricula with regards to their presentation of biracial individuals in literature classes, and predictions about the future of depictions of biracial identity in secondary school literature. A few pertinent suggestions are offered to teachers who wish to partake in the movement to better represent biracial individuals in classroom literature.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access