Matching students to books the cultural content of eighth-grade literature assignments

Laura Northrop, Carlin Borsheim-Black, Sean Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), to examine the texts assigned to eighth-grade students. By comparing student demographic information from the ECLS-K with demographic information from the texts, we examine adjustment of assignments to match students’ backgrounds. In addition to a list of the most frequently assigned texts in eighth grade, we found that the race/eth-nic diversity of texts assigned to eighth graders in the mid-2000s did not match the diversity of the school-age population at that time. Considerable matching occurs in text assignments, such that minority students are in some cases substantially more likely to read texts with protagonists, and written by authors, that match their race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-271
Number of pages29
JournalElementary School Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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